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Luis Enrique: ‘We cannot afford to underestimate Germany’

Luis Enrique: ‘We cannot afford to underestimate Germany’

Spain boss Luis Enrique has said that Germany are capable of ‘hammering’ his side if they do not enter Sunday’s Group E contest with the right attitude.

La Roja opened their 2022 World Cup with a 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, but Germany suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Japan, leaving Hansi Flick‘s side in a difficult spot when it comes to reaching the round of 16.

If Costa Rica fail to overcome Japan in the earlier match in the section, then a victory for Spain would see them advance to the knockout round with a game to spare.

Meanwhile, a defeat for Germany would see them eliminated in the group stage for the second World Cup in a row if Costa Rica do not beat Japan.

Spain's Gavi celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata on November 23, 2022© Reuters

Enrique has said that his side gained “confidence” from their seven-goal success over Costa Rica, but the 52-year-old is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his side on Sunday.

“We tried to manage the [Costa Rica] victory with all normality,” Enrique told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“It was resounding and that gives confidence, but we shouldn’t have too much confidence. We face an opponent that will hammer us if we are overconfident.

“It’s a great challenge. They’ve won a World Cup four times. We respect them greatly, they’ve great players and history is undeniable. Germany are a very good team, so much mobility. If we can control that, great. Otherwise, I have to think about every single element.

“But we are convinced we can beat Germany. We don’t want a crazy open match because if they play a high block, we may take too many risks. There are many things we have to find out, but we need to follow our principles, which are very similar to theirs.”

Spain's Dani Olmo celebrates scoring against Costa Rica at the World Cup on November 23, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, Dani Olmo, who was on he scoresheet against Costa Rica last time out, has called Germany “one of the best in the world” ahead of Sunday’s affair.

“Of course, they’re under pressure, they need to win after loss against Japan,” he told reporters. “But we know they are one of the best in the world, and you cannot put them down after one game.

“It’s a final for them, they need to win to get to next round, but we focus on our journey because we are through if we win.

“Hansi a great coach, he wants to dominate the game, he showed this in Bayern [Munich]. Most of their players play for Bayern, so we know the style, and they know us well, so we have to focus on our game.”

Spain won their first World Cup in 2010, but they have failed to impress in their last two tournaments, going out in the group stage in 2014 before only reaching the round of 16 four years ago in Russia.

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