Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique celebrated as his team snatched a place in the final four for next year’s Nations League, thanks to a 1-0 win over Portugal in Braga on Tuesday.
“The truth is that it is a great joy, especially for our people,” he said in the post-match presser. “For those who are at home watching and who want to enjoy themselves with the national team, for the entire public all the Zaragoza fans (who watched Saturday’s defeat to Switzerland) with whom we could not dedicate a victory.”
A late goal from Atletico Madrid forward Alvaro Morata ensured the team took top place in the group, leapfrogging their rivals led by veteran striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Enrique also spoke of his team’s preparations for this year’s World Cup in Qatar and what the victory might mean for the team and the players.
“Will it be decisive for the World Cup? Are the teams that have not qualified to go to do worse at the World Cup? Absolutely not,” he admitted. “The most difficult decision for me as a coach approaches, which I accept willingly, but which will mean leaving a very important player or several important players out of a World Cup.”
Spain joins Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands in next June’s finals tournament.