Spain have made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 without really hitting the heights they have shown in recent years, but they need a couple of big performances now if they want to book their place in the record books.
The Spanish won Euro 2008, and then followed that up by winning the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, but no team has either defended a European Championship or won three consecutive major championships, so there are records there to be broken for Los Rojas.
Vincente del Bosque’s side made it out of their group, but were given a big scare by Croatia, as there was a long period where one Croatian goal would have sent the defending champions home. In the quarterfinals they limped to a 2-0 win over an underwhelming France side.
The manager’s decision to play six midfielders in the majority of games, rather than any set strikers, has been a major talking point in the sport news on Bet365; the tactic has left Spain lacking a decisive spark in the middle of the pitch.
There is no doubt that they have the talent among the squad but, at times, their football has been dull, and they have struggled to penetrate the opponent’s defensive barrier.
Spain defender, Sergio Ramos, admits that they now face a “difficult” challenge against Portugal in the semi-finals, a team spearheaded by Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, but they need to put in good performances if they want to win Euro 2012.
“This Spain team have taken a step forward. We showed what we’re about in this victory and we’re in the semi-finals now,” he stated. “We have to carry this on all the way to the final. We can’t rest on our laurels because every game is a final.”
Ronaldo has scored three goals in his last two outings at Euro 2012; he recently hit back at critics of his under-par displays in their opening two games.
He is the huge goal-threat that Portugal possesses, and has the ability to damage Spain’s hopes of reaching the final at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, on July 1st. However, the betting line indicates that even Ronaldo will not be able to stop Los Rojas.