La Roja's coach has dismissed suggestions that the titleholders could play for a high-scoring draw against Croatia in order to eliminate Italy from the European ChampionshipSpain coach Vicente del Bosque has reacted angrily to suggestions that the reigning champions could arrange for a 2-2 draw in Monday's Group C match versus Croatia.
Italians love a conspiracy theory and already suffered in 2004 as Sweden and Denmark drew 2-2 to eliminate the Azzurri in Portugal. But if it happens again, it will be pure coincidence.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said on Friday that Spain would not “stain their prestige” by making a pact with Croatia to draw 2-2. And he is right. Why would they?
As Vicente del Bosque indicates, La Roja will set out to win the game; they are a better side than Croatia, have no need to play for a draw and will want to win the group as well. So expect them to win and rubbish talk of a ‘convenient’ 2-2
"I believe in a clean game. I am not thinking for one instant about such a possibility," Del Bosque stated at a press conference.
"Bringing this up over and over again is not in the best interest of the game. The more we talk about this, the more we give attention to the people who talk bad about the game.
"I am sure that Croatia think the same way as we do. We are participating at a European football party, and we have to be respectful."
Spain's match versus Croatia kicks off at 20:45CET, with Italy and Republic of Ireland facing off at the same time.