Spain, as anyone reading this surely knows, has advanced to the Euro2008 Final against Germany on Sunday. The match was entertaining, but in my opinion, not as breathtaking as many commentators saw it. Spain played well, moving forward easily, but without the smoothness they are capable of producing. This is a team that, with another month of playing together on an everyday basis, would probably be spectacular, Unfortunately, the team is only able to play together over short stints and thus does not get the opportunity to fully gel together. But they played plenty well enough to make Russia look like a second-rate team for the second-consecutive time. Russia seemed wholly inferior, and lacked all of the confidence and brilliance they exhibited in the thrashing of the Dutch.
My player ratings:
Marcos Senna: 6. Senna did not play poorly by any stretch of the imagination, but he did not play up to the standards he has been setting of late. He was integral in the buildup moving forward, and played well in his defensive role as well. The thing that excited me the most about him today was his energy throughout the entire 90 minutes - he always seemed to have a burst of energy when he needed it, which is not always the case.
Joan Capdevila: 5. Capdevila put out a pretty average performance, as he has done over the last couple of matches. Unfortunately, he has not shown the form he is capable of, which is especially disappointing after being called out by Carlo Ancelotti last week. He never completely broke down, but was a little slow on the mark a couple of times, leaving the door open for Russia to take a couple of their very few chances.
Senna - 6.5 A surprisingly shaky performance from the veteran at times, although at times it was clear why he's invaluable to Villarreal. Just when he seemed to be in trouble he'd recover with effortless positional sense.
Capdevila - 6 Decent, but no better. He may feel that he could have contributed more. Still, he was probably informed that he was to hang back, which he did.
...And by the way, I am out of town at the moment, so my access to the site is somewhat limited, so my postings may be a bit down...but Nick has put some stellar stuff up, especially on the Ibagaza situation.