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'I had 10 days at home, unable to move' - Tearful Busquets admits Spain relieved

They will face Croatia in Copenhagen on Monday after going through as runners-up in Group E.

Spain's Sergio Busquets, left, duels for the ball with Slovakia's Juraj Kucka.
Spain's Sergio Busquets, left, duels for the ball with Slovakia's Juraj Kucka.
Image: David Ramos

AN EMOTIONAL Sergio Busquets believes Spain’s 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia on Wednesday will give the team a huge boost for the knock-out stage of Euro 2020.

Spain will face Croatia in Copenhagen on Monday after going through as runners-up in Group E.

Busquets returned to the starting line-up against Slovakia after missing Spain’s opening two games following his positive test for Covid.

The 32-year-old was in the stands to watch the draw with Poland on Saturday, a result that put Spain’s qualification in doubt.

“It’s been difficult, today was a boost for everyone, for us, for the fans, this is the way we have to go,” said Busquets, who broke down in tears as he spoke.

“We’re happy, we cannot be first because it wasn’t in our hands, but it gives us a lot of confidence for what is coming.

“We’ve had a pretty tough time, I had 10 days at home, unable to move, but the group is very strong. All of this has made us grow and it shows our character.”

Alvaro Morata missed an early penalty but an own goal from Slovakia’s Martin Dubravka eased the tension before Aymeric Laporte, Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia and another own goal from Juraj Kucka wrapped up a convincing victory in Seville.

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“The penalty was a shame, but the team has been trying and we have had some luck for the first goal with their goalkeeper,” said Busquets.

“We accept criticism when we don’t do things well, but this is a European Championship, we know how difficult this is.”

Spain will now face Croatia, who beat Scotland 3-1 on Tuesday to go through second in Group D, with captain Luka Modric an inspiration again.

“Croatia are the World Cup finalists, it will be difficult and we know their captain very well,” said Busquets. “But we have to look at ourselves and continue in the same line as today.”

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AFP

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