Sergio Busquets seeks to set Spain back on winning path

Sergio Busquets says Spain are fully focused on a new era under Luis Enrique following three successive disappointments at major tournaments.

Experienced midfielder Busquets won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with his country but was also part of the squads which failed to progress past the last-16 stage at the past two World Cups and Euro 2016.

New coach Enqriue, who replaced the sacked Julen Lopetegui in July, began his tenure with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over England in the Nations League.

Ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Croatia in the same competition, Barcelona player Busquets insists his country must look to the future.

“It’s hard to repeat a World Cup and nothing is impossible,” said Busquets at his pre-match press conference.

“We don’t hold on to the past, we recall it with joy, it’s history but after three disappointments we want to turn a new leaf and qualify well in this competition and earn a pass to the Euro (2020).

“What happened, happened and should not distract us.”

Former Spain coach Lopetegui was dismissed a day before the World Cup in Russia after accepting the vacant Real Madrid job.

Caretaker Fernando Hierro then oversaw the tournament, which ended with a shock penalty shoot-out defeat to the unfancied hosts in the second round.

Busquets believes the team is retaining a similar style of play under Enrique, who previously coached him at Barca.

“I know Luis from his time at FC Barcelona. It’s too soon to reach conclusions, but the system is more or less the same,” he added.

“In general, it’s all similar and the important thing is to deliver a good level.

“In the last tournaments we were not up to par, but we want to continue what we started at Wembley.”

Croatia travel to Elche for their first competitive match since reaching the World Cup final.

Zlatko Dalic’s side, beaten 4-2 by France in Moscow in July, warmed up for the game with a 1-1 friendly draw against European champions Portugal on Thursday.

Vice-captain Ivan Rakitic is expected to win his 100th cap during the match.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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