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De la Fuente has got Spain 'excited', says matchwinner Torres

De la Fuente has got Spain 'excited', says matchwinner Torres

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Spain march into the Euro 2024 knockout stages full of confidence and momentum, with three wins from three Group B games under their belt.

Ferran Torres says Spain coach Luis de la Fuente has "got us all excited" after they stayed perfect at Euro 2024 with a narrow 1-0 victory over Albania.

La Roja were already assured of top spot in Group B and qualification for the last 16, but ensured they advanced to the knockout stages with three wins from three games, and without conceding a goal. 

Torres, one of 10 changes from Thursday's 1-0 win over Italy, scored the only goal after just 13 minutes in Dusseldorf, latching onto Dani Olmo's precise throughball and beating Albania goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha with a wonderful first-time finish.

The Barcelona forward's seventh direct goal involvement (five goals, two assists) is the joint-most by any Spain player since De la Fuente took charge (level with Joselu). 

And the confidence and momentum is quickly gathering momentum for La Roja, who last won all three group-stage matches at a European Championship in their title-winning campaign of 2008.

"I'm proud to represent my country," Torres said. "I'm going to make the most of the opportunities that the coach gives me, with goals, assists, defensive work.

"I want to continue making history with Spain. I'm not going to stop until I do. I don't care [who we face next]. We're a great team, we're working hard, and the coach has got us all excited."

On his goal, he added: "Before the match, I had already talked about it with [Dani] Olmo, that he would give me those passes into space. I didn't think twice when it came to me."

With the identity of Spain's last-16 opponents still to be determined, team-mate Mikel Merino concurred La Roja have no real concerns regarding who they face.

"We're talking about a team [Albania] that gave Croatia and Italy a tough time," the midfielder said. 

"We were warned that they were going to be a very tough team. They can hurt you if you don't master the transitions. They made us run. But this team also knows how to suffer. When we had to resist, we did.

"There are no preferences [for their last-16 opponents]. All the opponents here are going to be very tough. If you want to be the best, you have to play against the best."

Goalkeeper David Raya added: "It was a very good game from the whole group. We knew it wasn't easy because of what [Albania] were playing for. They created chances, they had to get the three points. It's a very sweet taste for three games won.

"We got the goal, and we left them in trouble. But in the second half, they took more risks."

Albania's defeat saw them finish bottom of Group B with one point - one less than third-place Croatia - meaning England are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, regardless of their result against Slovenia on Tuesday.

De la Fuente has got Spain 'excited', says matchwinner Torres

Spain march into the Euro 2024 knockout stages full of confidence and momentum, with three wins from three Group B games under their belt.

Ferran Torres says Spain coach Luis de la Fuente has "got us all excited" after they stayed perfect at Euro 2024 with a narrow 1-0 victory over Albania.

La Roja were already assured of top spot in Group B and qualification for the last 16, but ensured they advanced to the knockout stages with three wins from three games, and without conceding a goal. 

Torres, one of 10 changes from Thursday's 1-0 win over Italy, scored the only goal after just 13 minutes in Dusseldorf, latching onto Dani Olmo's precise throughball and beating Albania goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha with a wonderful first-time finish.

The Barcelona forward's seventh direct goal involvement (five goals, two assists) is the joint-most by any Spain player since De la Fuente took charge (level with Joselu). 

And the confidence and momentum is quickly gathering momentum for La Roja, who last won all three group-stage matches at a European Championship in their title-winning campaign of 2008.

"I'm proud to represent my country," Torres said. "I'm going to make the most of the opportunities that the coach gives me, with goals, assists, defensive work.

"I want to continue making history with Spain. I'm not going to stop until I do. I don't care [who we face next]. We're a great team, we're working hard, and the coach has got us all excited."

On his goal, he added: "Before the match, I had already talked about it with [Dani] Olmo, that he would give me those passes into space. I didn't think twice when it came to me."

With the identity of Spain's last-16 opponents still to be determined, team-mate Mikel Merino concurred La Roja have no real concerns regarding who they face.

"We're talking about a team [Albania] that gave Croatia and Italy a tough time," the midfielder said. 

"We were warned that they were going to be a very tough team. They can hurt you if you don't master the transitions. They made us run. But this team also knows how to suffer. When we had to resist, we did.

"There are no preferences [for their last-16 opponents]. All the opponents here are going to be very tough. If you want to be the best, you have to play against the best."

Goalkeeper David Raya added: "It was a very good game from the whole group. We knew it wasn't easy because of what [Albania] were playing for. They created chances, they had to get the three points. It's a very sweet taste for three games won.

"We got the goal, and we left them in trouble. But in the second half, they took more risks."

Albania's defeat saw them finish bottom of Group B with one point - one less than third-place Croatia - meaning England are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, regardless of their result against Slovenia on Tuesday.

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