Spain coach Luis de la Fuente refuses to join criticism of 'boring' France: 'It's all about winning'


Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente refused to join the criticism of France’s style of play and acknowledged that at this stage of Euro 2024 “it is all about winning” ahead of their much-anticipated semi-final.

Didier Deschamps’ 2022 World Cup finalists have scored only three goals on their run to the semi-finals in Germany with none from open play.

They survived a goalless draw and a penalty shootout with Portugal in the quarter-finals to reach the last four.

By contrast, De la Fuente’s side have impressed with an attacking brand of football on their own route to Tuesday’s game in Munich.

“When you figure out your game plan, the goal is always to bring you closer to the win,” De la Fuente told a news conference on Monday.

“I think our idea is close to offering a joyful experience to the fans. I think we are an enjoyable team, but here it is all about winning, even more at this late stage.

“We need to play well but be pragmatic too, because at the end you are going to judge me for the result.

“I am nobody to judge if the France games are boring. What we analyze is the potential of every opponent, and France’s one is exceptional. Everyone has fun with what they want to, and as I love football I like watching France.”

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

France’s defence is controlled, disciplined and built in the image of Didier Deschamps

Kylian Mbappe is the only French player to score at the tournament — the other two goals were own goals — from the penalty spot against Poland but his form has come under scrutiny, especially after suffering a broken nose against Austria in their opener.

De la Fuente knows the danger the Real Madrid forward can pose, however, even if he continues to play below his usual level.

“Those kinds of players are unpredictable,” he said. “They might go through a worse moment, but they never disappear completely.

“50 per cent of Mbappe can be 100 per cent of another player. He is a superstar, as well as some other French team-mates.

“We have tools to try to stop him. I trust in our potential and I have full faith in us.”

(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)



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