Spain came away with the victory they needed on Tuesday night, pipping Portugal in the closing moments to make the Nations League semi-finals for a second successive campaign.
Those finals will take place next June with Spain pitted against the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy.
“We always make the cut in games like this. We had to give everything on the pitch.”
“It was a difficult game against a great rival, you only need to look at the players Portugal have. The attitude of the team will stick with me. We fought until the end.”
Alvaro Morata's game by numbers vs. Portugal:
100% take-on success
4 duels won
3 shots on target
2 fouls won
The match winner. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/jFg5WyCJb9
— Squawka (@Squawka) September 27, 2022
“Now we have to prepare the future in the best way possible.”
Morata admitted that he was somewhat intimidated before the match, but that the atmosphere within the group was enough to settle his nerves.
“I was a bit nervous, but I calmed down when I saw my teammates very calm. We are a good group and we deserved to be in this final phase of the Nations League.”
If anything, Morata’s words and their two results in this Nations League, victory over Portugal and defeat to Switzerland, further strengthens the image that Spain work better against Europe’s bigger sides.
It is a double-edged sword for Spain. As was seen in the Euros last year, it can cause them problems in the early stages of a competition. However Spain have struggled in tournaments since Euro 2012 and Luis Enrique’s style has allowed La Roja into the latter stages once again.