Football News: Euro 2024, Champions League, FIFA World Cup, and More

Rotterdam, this time last year. In the Nhow hotel on Wilhelminakade, overlooking the river Maas, Jesús Navas has just been asked about his experience of winning the Nations League with the Spanish national team. “It was incredible,” he says. “I told them about the World Cup. About the goal. How we celebrated. We were all there, hairs standing on end. And that gave us the energy to face the final.”

That evening at De Kuip, Spain won the Nations League, beating Croatia on penalties. While it may not be a major tournament, it was a significant moment for the selección, as they had not lifted a trophy in 11 years.

Euro 2024 team guides part eight: Spain

Jesús Navas, the only player left from the 2010 World Cup-winning team and the 2012 European Championship-winning team, is now 38 years old and set to retire at the end of the year. He is trying to guide the younger members of the squad, who have mostly seen Spain fail in recent major tournaments.

After their disappointing World Cup exit in Qatar, Spain have undergone some changes. Luis de la Fuente, the new coach, has been entrusted with an evolution in style, with the team focusing on being more direct and vertical in their play.

The emergence of players like Rodri and the return of Pedri from injury have brought optimism, but the real excitement surrounds the younger generation, including Nico Williams and the 16-year-old Lamine Yamal. These players represent a new era for Spanish football, one that the experienced Navas is eager to be a part of.

“They are very young players, Lamine especially – he’s a kid – but with a talent that only the chosen ones have,” says Navas. “They have that touch that makes them different to the rest.”

While Spain may not be among the favorites for Euro 2024, there is a growing belief that they are among the candidates, with the unknown factor and the fresh talent of players like Nico and Lamine providing a new twist on the team’s traditional style of play.

Navas, the last remaining link to Spain’s golden era, is determined to pass on his experience and enthusiasm to the next generation, as they embark on a new journey to bring glory back to the national team.

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