It was Spain’s shocking play when they did not have possession of the ball that saw them lose to Italy, believes former England star John Barnes.
Spain, who were double defending champions, were dispatched with relative ease by the Italians, who took the game 2-0 with a goal in each half.
Barnes, who was speaking live on SuperSport in the aftermath of the match, believed the Italians played the more effective football.
‘They were more determined, they had more desire, we knew they were gonna be organised… and the question mark was, in possession; would they have enough possession to cause problems against Spain? And they did.’
Barnes believes Spain’s inability to cause the Italians problems served to expose their own frailties.
‘There are two things about football; what you do with the ball, and what you do without the ball. Spain can’t play without the ball. We know that. But normally they dominate enough possession so that their misgivings aren’t capitalised on by the opposition.’
Barnes was also quick to praise the Italians’ play when they did not have possession.
‘In possession they were fantastic… Out of position you can see how organised the are. And Spain just couldn’t play through them,’ he concluded.