Express & Star

A closer look at Euro 2024 finalists Spain ahead of Sunday’s Berlin showpiece

Luis de la Fuente’s side will face either England or the Netherlands in the final at the Olympiastadion.

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Spain are on course for a fourth European Championship title after reaching the final of Euro 2024.

Luis de la Fuente’s side beat France in the semi-final to continue their 100 per cent record at the tournament.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at their side ahead of Sunday’s final against either England or the Netherlands.

Key players

Dani Olmo celebrates on the pitch
Dani Olmo has scored three goals and made two for Spain (Bradley Collyer/PA)

This group of players has been heralded as the best Spain side since 2012, which is when they last won a major tournament. It is full of young, attacking talent and they are shining in Germany. Dani Olmo has three goals and two assists to his name, winning three man-of-the-match awards, while youngsters Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal have provided danger and excitement from wide areas. Fabian Ruiz has been the glue in the centre of the pitch and kept things ticking over with a 91 per cent pass success rate.

Manager

Luis de la Fuente managed Spain at Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 level
Luis de la Fuente managed Spain at under-19, under-21 and under-23 levels (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Luis de la Fuente is proof the system works as he made his way up through the age groups. He previously coached the under-19s, under-21s and under 23s before taking the senior side after Luis Enrique left following their 2022 World Cup exit. Given his experience in the youth age groups, it is little surprise Spain have emerged as one of the best young sides in the world. De La Fuente has transformed the fortunes of his nation, winning 16 of his 20 games in charge, scoring 53 goals along the way. They won the Nations League last year, which could prove to be a stepping stone to even bigger success this summer.

Form

Spain’s Lamine Yamal celebrates after his brilliant equaliser against France
Spain’s Lamine Yamal celebrates after his brilliant equaliser against France (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Spain did not come into the tournament as hot favourites but, even if they do not finish the job on Sunday, they have been the best team in Germany and have enjoyed a record-breaking run. They are the only side to have won every match, even though they have not had the easiest journey. They breezed through a tough-looking group stage by beating Croatia, Italy and Albania, before disposing of Georgia in the last 16. They needed extra time to overcome hosts Germany in the quarter-final and then ousted World Cup finalists France in the last four.

Tactics

While others have advanced through the tournament using a pragmatic approach, Spain have entertained, scoring 13 goals. They have adopted a fluid 4-3-3 which is primarily possession-based but have been able to switch things around, with the pace and skill of Williams and Yamal making them a threat on the counter-attack. Former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has also led the line and provided an outlet in the number nine role, though doubts surround his fitness for the final.

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