Spain coach Luis Enrique said he had no complaints over his side’s Euro 2020 semifinal exit after a penalty shootout defeat to Italy on Tuesday, insisting he will only be congratulating his players for their efforts in the tournament.
Alvaro Morata’s well-taken finish dragged Spain back into the game after Federico Chiesa had brilliantly fired Italy into the lead in the second half at Wembley.
But after neither side could find a winner following extra time, Morata’s miss in the shootout proved crucial, as Jorginho’s spot-kick sealed a place in the final for the Azzurri.
‘Have to learn to win and lose’
“It is not a sad night for me, not at all,” Luis Enrique told a news conference. “Of course there is some disappointment but that is elite football. You have to learn to win and lose. We talked a lot about how we wanted to play, the players believed in it and I can only congratulate them, I have no complaints.
“In professional sport we all have to learn how to win and how to take defeat. That’s why I want to congratulate Italy.”
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 7, 2021
“We have shown that we are a team. Now it is important to recover and then we will meet again ahead of the World Cup qualification.”
The former Barcelona coach singled out 18-year-old Barca midfielder Pedri for special praise.
Spain’s Pedri completed all 56 of his passes in the 90 minutes of normal time at Wembley – only France’s Samuel Umtiti has ever completed more with 100 percent passing accuracy in a European Championship match since 1980.
“No 18-year-old has done what he has,” Luis Enrique added. “His performances, his interpretation of the role, how he finds free space, his quality, his character… I have never seen anyone do what he does, it is devoid of all logic.”