Spain’s Tactical Shift: Triumph and Trouble Against Croatia

Spain’s first quarter was typical of the team – a rapid and aggressive start. La Roja created multiple chances, relying on Nico Williams on the left and Lamine Yamal on the right, with the latter becoming the focal point of Spain’s javelin. Marin Pongračić, positioned as the left center-back alongside Joško Gvardiol, struggled against Yamal’s relentless dribbling, which often left Croatia’s defenders trailing. 
|1-0| 29′#VamosEspaña | #EURO2024

A Dynamic Start For Spain

The 2022 World Cup remains a fresh wound for the Spanish populace, with Luis Enrique’s team crashing out against Morocco after a lackluster campaign. The stereotypical slow-paced Spanish football, outdated in the face of the 2015 German gegenpressing revolution, became glaringly evident under Luis Enrique in those final months.


For the last decade, Spain was synonymous with relentless possession, dominating the ball and leaving opponents chasing shadows. This extreme possession style brought success in the early 2010s but also marked Spain’s downfall in recent years. 
Despite not being heavily involved in the buildup, one well-placed shot was all it took. Croatia’s defence momentarily lost focus, failing to track their markers. At 1-0, most teams would fight back, but unexplainably, Croatia seemed deflated and unable to respond. 

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What’s Next For Croatia

Spain is known for its great build-up, but Spain’s defensive cohesion was conspicuously absent. This pairing is unlikely to continue, as both players seemed out of sync. 
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) June 16, 2024