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World Cup: Luis Enrique praises exceptional Spain but plans changes

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DOHA – Spain coach Luis Enrique heaped praise on his players after they demolished Costa Rica 7-0 in their World Cup opener on Wednesday and said they will approach the game against Germany with the same level of ambition.

Former champions Spain won by their biggest goal margin at a World Cup, with a Ferran Torres brace and strikes from five other players taking them past the 100-goal mark in soccer’s showpiece event.

“When things go like this, football becomes a wonderful sport,” Luis Enrique told a news conference.

“We were exceptional in our ball handling and finishing, with the same philosophy that the national team has had for years. We were exceptional in pressing and the 17 players who took part were very good.

“It is the national team that scores the most goals in all the championships we have been in. We may not have a benchmark player who scores 30 goals but we have Ferran, Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi… I’ve never been worried about finding goals.”

The Spain coach stressed the importance of the psychological aspect of the game.

“Of course, you have to work on your head. It has been vital for me to work with the players so that they don’t go out on the pitch too excited,” Luis Enrique said.

“Now we have to work on something else, but I can tell you that this team is not going to relax. Germany can beat us because they’re a power, but we’re going to go out and play the same way.”

He also anticipated there would be changes.

“I don’t know who will play, but I will probably not repeat the lineup. We won’t play seven games with (the same) 11 players. I’m sure I’m going to change.”

Spain face Germany in Group E on Sunday as the Germans look to put their surprise 2-1 loss to Japan behind them. REUTERS

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