Spain warned over 'collapse' ahead of Morocco clash, says Rodri

Spain's Rodri says his country have been warned about suffering another "collapse" when they face Morocco in the World Cup last 16 on Tuesday.

AFP , Sunday 4 Dec 2022,
Rodri
Spain s Rodri speaks to reporters during a news conference at Qatar University in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. AP

 

La Roja fell to a shock 2-1 defeat by Japan on Thursday and finished second in Group E as a result, with the Samurai Blue netting two goals in a dramatic period at the start of the second half.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri, playing at centre-back for Spain, said his team would not renounce their style of football but had to avoid unnecessary risks.

"There were 10 minutes of collapse, and we've been warned now that a goal can put you out," Rodri told a press conference Sunday.

"We know it, the coach was clear, and now we're training with happiness and determination."

For a short period during their last group game Spain face elimination, when Costa Rica were ahead against Germany, but Hansi Flick's side recovered to win to save La Roja.

Spain trained on Sunday with defender Cesar Azpilicueta working on an exercise bike apart from the main group, after suffering a knock against Japan, but he should be fit to face Morocco.

Rodri believes Spain have recovered from their Japan defeat after reflecting on the game and are now ready to move on.

"We have totally recovered, it's true that it was an intense moment in all senses," he added.

"The team went out to win, with ambition. We had a good first half, it's a game which got away from us in 10 minutes.

"We had a day of reflection, which suited us well, now the team is recovered and training with maximum joy and maximum hope."

Spain, in search of a second World Cup trophy after their triumph in 2010, have a clearly defined way of playing.

It is marked by a high press, a thirst for possession and a near-refusal to clear their lines in desperation, preferring to seek out a pass.

"We have a philosophy which never changes, whatever team we are playing against," said Rodri.

"We analysed and corrected our errors, but changing our way of playing does not suit Spain.

"Details will make the difference. Playing without taking risks, but keeping a cool head, that's always been our game."

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