Vicente del Bosque was eager to praise the dominant overall performance of Spain in their 1-0 win over Czech Republic, rather than focus on Andres Iniesta.
The Barcelona captain produced a man-of-the-match display for the holders in their Euro 2016 opener and set up Gerard Pique’s 86th-minute winner with a superb clipped cross.
Del Bosque, however, insisted that his side as a whole deserved huge credit for the way they dictated the game in Toulouse, and not just the match-winning individuals.
“I’m happy about the team victory. Gerard is one more player for the national team – that’s it,” he said.
“Iniesta is obviously important. He played very well, but it’s not about individualising the performance. It’s about the team on the pitch.
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“Yes, I enjoy it when there’s a good passage of play. But you have to win, not only play nicely. You have to play well and win.
“We created a lot of chances, we hope scoring is not a problem. We had the game completely under control, which is the most important thing. Our style hasn’t been too bad in the last few years.
“Now we have a good passage forward, we want to go as far as possible. Now we’re more optimistic than if it were a draw.”
Del Bosque elected to start David de Gea ahead of Iker Casillas, and the Manchester United goalkeeper produced three good saves to help his side to maximum points.
The former Real Madrid head coach praised Casillas for his professionalism after being left among the substitutes, and claimed the debate over whether De Gea or Spain’s leading appearance-maker should be the regular choice in goal is something positive.
“Iker has been exceptional,” he said. “He was constantly supporting the team. It’s not the moment to talk about who will play in the next game, we have to evaluate and we’ll see. But it’s healthy to have a debate in football.”
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