Kuala Lumpur Post


Spain coach says ‘staying calm is power’ after big Croatia win

BERLIN — Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said his team had to keep their feet firmly on the ground despite an impressive 3-0 win over Croatia to kick off Euro 2024 in style on Saturday.

La Roja defeated Zlatko Dalic’s side in Berlin in their opening match, launching their bid for a record fourth triumph with goals from Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal.

“We have to stay calm, motivated and proud, that’s my message,” De la Fuente told reporters.

“The players know the country is going to be very excited, we’re aware of that and of the euphoria.

“We just have to stay calm and be professional because staying calm is power.”

De la Fuente’s side overpowered Croatia in the first half and largely kept their opponents at arm’s length in a more relaxed second half.

“Of course this give us a boost, and settles us, but in five days we have a big game against Italy,” he continued.

“Above all we have to stay calm, our target is still very far away, we have to just keep our feet on the ground.”

Barcelona winger Lamine Yamal, 16, became the youngest player ever to play at the Euros and set up Carvajal’s goal with a fine cross from the right. — AFP