Luis Enrique praised Spain’s “pillar” Sergio Busquets after his success in the country’s trophyless Nations League Finals campaign.
Spain failed in the final of the Nations League on Sunday and defeated the reigning world champion France 2-1 at San Siro in Milan.
Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe made up for Mikel Oyarzabal’s opener in the 64th minute, and while Spain came away empty-handed, seasoned captain Busquets delivered another impressive feat in the middle of the nation’s rebuilding project.
Busquets provided his 10th assist for Spain, and the first since November 2019, after getting Oyarzabal on point, while the 33-year-old captain led the team in tackles (four) and overall (17) after scoring with a passing accuracy of 92.2 percent had crossed the finish line – only surpassed by Eric Garcia for La Roja.
10 – Sergio Busquets has his 10th assist for. given #Spain and the first since November 2019, also to Mikel Oyarzabal against Romania. Momentum.#UEFANationsLeague #UEFANationsFinale pic.twitter.com/QPXljMe0of
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 10, 2021
“Busquets was named the best player of the tournament. That says a lot about his level. He is vital to us. He’s the captain, but that’s not all, ”said Luis Enrique during his post-game press conference.
“He’s also someone who conveys some values off the pitch and on the pitch. He gives you rest, rest. It is our pillar on which our defensive and attacking game is based.
“I don’t know how much we won, but I know that we won against the European champions and played almost evenly with the world champions. It’s all good for the players and the team.
“And of course it becomes more difficult for me to make the next selection every time, and that’s good for me and good for us. It is important that the team retains its personality and the will to win. “
Spain finished the decision with 63.9 percent possession and 624 passes, compared to France’s 354 passes.
Luis Enrique’s Spain had to regret a missed opportunity after losing to eventual champions Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
“Nothing was missing. It was a shame France moved up after the opening goal on the other end. It was a shame to admit when we just scored because France was the weakest there. That’s the only regret we can have, ”added the former Barcelona coach.
“What are we missing? We don’t miss anything. We still need to maintain that confidence and try to move forward with what we did.
“As always, no matter who we play against, Spain will always play their game,” said Luis Enrique. “Sometimes we play a little better than sometimes, but that’s normal. But I think all the fans agree that Spain always plays the same. No matter where, no matter against whom. So I’m happy with what I saw at this tournament. “