Spain were eliminated in the last 16 of the World Cup after losing 3-0 on penalties . La Roja have not won a knockout game since winning in South Africa in 2010 .
Spain arrived in Qatar with big hopes of winning a second World Cup, fully confident in their game, but then left early Wednesday, focusing on a identity issue.La Roja won a major trophy a decade ago at Euro 2012, but they haven't won a single knockout game since winning in South Africa in 2010.On Tuesday, Luis Enriques' side huffed and puffed but could not stop Moroccos solid house down in the last 16 after losing 3-0 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes.The north African side made history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time, while Spain's eyes were blank as they consider whether it's time to move forward.We dominated the game, but Luis Enrique said we lacked a goal.We could have been more effective in the final third, but I'm more than happy with what my team achieved.They were absolutely perfect in the sense of football that I like today.When Xavi and Andres Iniesta ruled the world, opponents were largely still too naive to stop them, and they had too much potential to be fended off for long. Luis Enrique stayed on the bench against Morocco, instead choosing Marco Asensio, whom he trusts more to keep the ball in play.There is no ideal scenario for Spain, with Nico Williams' pace and directness on the right flank giving Luis Enrique more of a nod than other ideas.Sponsored by VuuklePlayers like Iago Aspas and Borja Iglesias may have been able to offer more of a challenge to Morocco's solid rearguard.No starsAn aspect of Spains strategy may be borne of desire.Although Pedri and Gavi are as good as they come, they also lack a key player in the tournament, according to Morocco coach Walid Regragui.In the absence of a Kylian Mbappe, a Lionel Messi, a Neymar, or even a Harry Kane, he might think ball domination and associative play is his team's greatest weapon, especially when they fail in the desert. If Luis Enrique is still the coach for Euro 2024, expect him to expand his game and use players like Ansu Fati to shine as the team's biggest weapon in the final third.If he leaves, Spain could begin looking at other options, at least against opponents that are strong enough to keep from being enveloped by La Rojas passing web.