In one of the biggest shocks of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Spain were eliminated by Morocco at the Round-of-16 stage today via a penalty shootout.
La Roja dominated possession as is the case in most matches but failed to create any sort of meaningful goalscoring opportunities. Instead, it was Morocco who carried some degree of attacking threat, but the game remained goalless after 120 minutes.
Luis Enrique’s men failed to find the back of the net in their first three attempts from the spot, with Barcelona and Spain captain Sergio Busquets also missing, allowing Morocco to pick up a 3-0 win via shootouts, with Achraf Hakimi scoring the match-winning spot-kick.
Speaking after the game, Busquets lamented the outcome of the game, stating that Spain did not deserve to be eliminated from the World Cup and that they did everything in their power to stay in the tournament.
“We did things to deserve to stay in the World Cup, and at the end of the game, we had a chance. We’re leaving in the cruelest way,” he said (h/t MARCA).
However, he admitted that missing three penalties in the shootout was poor from the team, saying: “In the end, if you miss three penalties it’s very difficult to win.”
When asked about his future with the national team, Busquets swayed away from a direct response, as he said:
“Now the important thing is the team and not me, it is a difficult night and we will have to get up and use experience for our football, there are very young people who will benefit from this It’s going to help a lot and we have to keep going.”
Meanwhile, Busquets’ club and international teammate Ferran Torres also echoed the same opinion, stating that Spain did not deserve to go out of the competition, as he said (h/t COPE):
We were up to the task. We didn’t play badly in the first half. Football has been very unfair to us. I’m very proud of my teammates and Luis Enrique.”
The Barcelona forward also took a dig at the referee, saying that at times it felt that Spain were playing against 12 men on the day.
“Well, there have been moments when we have played against 12 players…,” he added.
“Let’s keep working. The team has been very consistent and penalties are a lottery. We had trained for it, but today it didn’t go our way. Football owes us one.
“It has been a very positive World Cup. We have transmitted our idea. We’ll come out of this stronger and we’ll learn from this,” he concluded.