Spain has shown “exceptional” growth in recent months, coach Luis de la Fuente said after his side’s 1-0 win over Norway on Sunday secured qualification for Euro 2024 in Germany.
After a round-of-16 exit at the World Cup in Qatar, which resulted in Luis Enrique’s dismissal, Spain was beaten 2-0 by Scotland in March, leading to questions over De la Fuente’s future despite it being just his second game in charge.
However, since that defeat, Spain has won four straight qualifying matches, scoring 16 goals and keeping clean sheets in their last three games. They also won the Nations League in June.
“I’m happy because I think the team has grown in an exceptional way. There is a feeling of a united team, a cohesive team, a team for the future, which is what excites us the most,” De la Fuente told reporters.
“Learning is constant. You learn a lot from the not so good situations and from good ones too. But we were sure, we haven’t gone too far off script. By that, I mean we’ve corrected what needed changing and we understood what had to change.”
Defender Dani Carvajal said it was “never easy” to qualify for the Euros, adding: “Especially this time, after that defeat in Scotland, because we also had a new coach and suddenly many people from the outside started doubting us.
“But we managed to recover from that and step up.”