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Arnold Clark Cup

'This is perhaps the best England team ever' - Spain coach Jorge Vilda

14:56 GMT 19/02/2022
Jorge Vilda 2022
The head coach of La Roja was full of praise for the Lionesses ahead of the two teams meeting in the Arnold Clark Cup

Spain head coach Jorge Vilda believes the England side that his team will face on Sunday afternoon is “perhaps the best England team ever”.

La Roja drew their opening fixture of the Arnold Clark Cup on Thursday with Germany, picking up the same 1-1 result that England did later that same day against Canada.

Speaking ahead of the second round of games, Vilda heaped praise on the hosts of the competition, predicting possibly “the best game of the tournament” when his Spain side face them this weekend.

What has been said?

Talking about England in his pre-match press conference, Vilda said: “I personally believe that this is perhaps the best England team ever. They've got plenty of youth in the side, players who play with courage.

“They've got players all over the pitch who can make a difference, particularly on the left wing and an excellent striker. Great players in Leah Williamson, Lucy Bronze, an excellent midfield.

“It's a team that will put us under pressure early with the high press and when we get the ball in their half, they're a team that are quite adept at defending deeply to fluff out the opposition's threats.

“Overall, I expect the game played at a very high pace, great intensity, just like the kind that you would see in the Women's Super League in England and also in the Spanish league too. I think it will be an excellent game and we are really looking forward to tomorrow.

“It potentially could be the best game of the tournament, in my opinion.”

Asked if there is anything he is afraid of, Vilda responded: “We’re not particularly scared of anything.

“We know what their strengths are. We know they've got a lot of them, but we also know what their weaknesses are. These are the things that we've pinpointed in training and been watching in the footage of previous matches - and these are the things that we will try to exploit to turn the game and the result in our favour.”

‘England are one of the best teams in the world’

Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d’Or last year, also spoke highly of Sunday’s opponents ahead of the game.

“England are a great team, one of the best in the world. I always love playing against big teams like them,” she said.

“We haven't always beaten them when we've played them. We haven't had that luck all the time. But tomorrow, who knows what will happen? I'm just really looking forward to the game and the challenge ahead.

“I believe that we have improved a lot since [we last played England at] the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. We are a better team now.

“Tomorrow will be a really tough test. It will be a really high-quality contest. We'll need to be at the top of our game to win.

“We need to do the little things right. The minor details will make a massive difference tomorrow. Just like the other day, we need to go out there clearly with the plan that we've prepared in mind and execute it well. We didn't get the result that we quite wanted the other day with the late equaliser.

“Just like Germany, England are going to come with a game plan and be quite resolute and difficult to break down and tough to beat. It will be a close game so we need to do everything we can.

“We also need to play well and try to quieten down the crowd because there'll be a lot of fans on England's side, like there will be in the Euros this summer. That is exactly what we need to do if we're going to be on the right side of the result come the end of the game tomorrow.”

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