When the shadow of two consecutive draws against rivals from the third and fourth wagons of European football greatly complicated the direct ticket to the World Cup in Qatar, Dani Olmo’s shoe in the 92nd minute unleashed collective madness in Spain. If Unai Simón traveled the entire field to join the pineapple of players who hid the Leipzig midfielder, Luis Enrique was one more in the montonera that was generated in the vicinity of the Spanish bench. “I’ve been on the verge of a heart attack”, Luis Enrique was honest before the microphones of Televisión Española. “We played a lot, the game had gotten bad and we lost confidence with each pass. They could already score us in a corner in which Unai made a good save, and the goal came after a slight defensive error. We have not been as lucid as usual ”, the coach abounded as he continued sighing on the field. “In the second half the intention was to say, hey, if we have to lose we lose, but we are going to try to play with more passes on the inside and have more opportunities. The award is well deserved for the team, and if it isn’t, I don’t care ”.
Already in the press room, the Asturian coach went back to influence the bad moment of the game that La Roja is going through. And he showed his concern bluntly. “We are not in a plethora of moments. The third match against Kosovo will be the same, I see it, but the idea remains the same. I hope the final goal is a shot of confidence “, wished the Spanish coach before showing his concern about what happened in these first two qualifying games for the World Cup:” It is not a moment of doubt. The selection is these players and another ten more who can come, but yes, I am very worried ”.
The tension accumulated by the need to achieve a victory that did not materialize until Dani Olmo’s goal caused Luis Enrique to deliver a speech more typical of the times in which Spanish football appealed to fury: “We are going to try to solve it these days , but if we lack freshness and finesse to win, it will be with the heart, with the head or whatever. Spain has to be in the next World Cup anyway ”.
Luis Enrique’s nerves increased exponentially as the game did not improve and the Georgia ball boys were slow to deliver the balls when the ball went out. “They have put deflated balls, we had to use six and also every time the ball came out they lost time. We have had losses, but also on the field, because the ball bounced like a rabbit ”, complained the Spanish coach. Regarding Dani Olmo’s goal, achieved with a shot from outside the area, Luis Enrique warned that he corrected one of the great defects that he had already detected against Greece and was repeated against Georgia. “Dani is one of the best shoots of the national team and we always encourage him to do so. It is one of the things that has been done the least in these two games and it is also a resource to open such tight defenses ”.
The performance of Pedri, who in the second half was the Spanish player with the most mettle and footing to assume how complicated the game had become, was also analyzed by the coach. “In the first half he was like the rest of the team,” said Luis Enrique, shaking his head, “in the second half he has shown the player profile he is and the qualities he has. He has been very good with Jordi Alba, with whom he has fluent communication and understands very well ”.
Dani Olmo was still celebrating the goal as he entered the changing room tunnel. His goal avoided a monumental crisis. “It is indescribable to score a goal like this,” he said, still with a face that betrayed both emotion and relief: “The support and emotion of the team when scoring has been incredible. They have played very well. They have a couple of very good players who have hurt us on the counter, but we have known how to counterattack and come back in the second half. Luis Enrique told us to continue insisting and that everything was going to come and that’s how it has been ”.