Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Spain failing to keep standards - Pique

28 June 2016, 09:19

Paris  - Spain can no longer match the standards that won back-to-back European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012, Gerard Pique admitted after his side crashed out of Euro 2016 to Italy.

The 2-0 defeat means that Spain, who also claimed their maiden World Cup in 2010, have now been embarrassed in two consecutive major tournaments. They were dumped out of the 2014 World Cup as holders after just two group matches.

"We have to be realistic, we don't have the same level as when we were world and European champions," said Barcelona defender Pique.

"There are youngsters coming through that promise a lot. There are others who have years of experience and we have to continue offering that experience and talent.

"The level isn't the same. We have to accept it and be critical to get to the World Cup in Russia in good conditions and at a better level."

However, Pique defended the right of coach Vicente del Bosque to take time to decide his future despite the latest failure.

Del Bosque was in charge for the tournament wins in 2010 and 2012. But the 65-year-old had already resisted calls to resign after the World Cup two years ago.

"He has won the right to decide. He is a very important person for football in this country," added Pique.

Del Bosque insisted he will speak with the Spanish Football Federation's president Angel Maria Villar before making his decision.

Yet, the former Real Madrid boss refuted suggestions it was the end of an era for Spanish football.

"It has been and is a great era for Spanish football," said Del Bosque.


However, a great era at club level has taken its toll on the national team.

Just as two years ago before disappointing in Brazil, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid competed the Champions League final days before the tournament kicked off.

And Italy ran a combined eight kilometres more than a jaded Spain in an energetic display.

"I'm not sure it was tiredness because we tried until the end, but that left them more space on the counter-attack," added Del Bosque.

"This has always been a technical team rather than a physical team. We came into the competition in good shape, but it is impossible to measure it and demonstrate (tiredness)."

The headline on the digital version of Spanish sports daily Marca disagreed, claiming Italy had "ended a glorious era for Spain and Del Bosque."

And Pique admitted Spain could have no complaints.

"In the end the best team won. To win, Spain have to play much better than the opponents and today it wasn't like that."

The two sides will meet again as early as October in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Italy boss Antonio Conte claimed Spanish football was in "rude health", but believes the Azzurri will be full of confidence they can claim the only automatic qualifying spot.

"When the draw was made everyone was saying we would have to qualify via the playoff," said Conte, who will take over at Chelsea at the end of the tournament.

"This is a very important win. These are victories which help to breed self confidence and self-esteem."



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Deal with corruption or lose in 2...

A Jubilee Party MP says that the unending corruption claims against the government are killing President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election efforts for 2017. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
MP accuses Raila of making up fal...

An MP has accused CORD leader Raila Odinga of bringing up non existent corruption scandals to hurt the Jubilee government. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave office if you can't handle ...

Leave office if you cannot handle corruption, an MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Give me the chance to unseat Uhur...

Give me the chance to send President Uhuru Kenyatta home, Kalonzo Musyoka tells Kenyans. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Explain your foreign trips since ...

Explain your foreign trips, Musalia Mudavadi tells President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...