The leader of group B is decided tonight in Brentford, in a Germany-Spain game that is set to be one of the most attractive matches of this European Championship. The red team has never beaten the German team in the absolute category, so a victory "would be an adrenaline rush and morale" for the dressing room, recognized Jorge Vilda. Despite the fact that the senior team has never been able to prevail over its rival today, the distance between the two teams has been reduced over the years, as was demonstrated in February at the Arnold Clark Cup, a prestigious but friendly tournament , the last precedent between both teams. Vilda's women dominated the game and the scoreboard, but a goal in the 87th minute prevented Spain from removing Germany from its red list.
One of the arguments to explain this growing equality between Germans and Spanish is in the lower categories, in which the red ones do know what it is to beat the German giant, both in the sub-17 and sub-19 categories. Players like Aitana Bonmatí or Patri Guijarro are a clear example of this, but not the only ones, also the youngest ones like Athenea del Castillo, Olga Carmona or Tere Abelleira have grown up knowing that Germany is not unbeatable and they hope to transfer this spirit to the absolute. “In the lower categories we have beaten them when we have had possession of the ball. Avoiding their cons is when it has been hardest for them to overcome us, that's why I think we can do them a lot of damage with our football", Guijarro, one of the captains, assured yesterday in the previous one.
Both Germany and Spain thrashed in the debut, but with different feelings. Those of Martina Voss-Tecklenburg overwhelmed Denmark (4-0) making it clear that Magull and Oberdof are capable of making forget two stars of the stature of Maroszán, 111 international caps and who broke the crusaders at the beginning of May, and Leupolz , with 75 internationals absent from this European Championship due to pregnancy. He also has luxury spare parts for striker Lea Schüller, who tested positive for covid yesterday and her place in the eleven could be taken by Wolfsburg player Alexandra Popp.
For its part, Spain started with doubts, conceding a goal 50 seconds into the match against Finland (4-1) and showing weaknesses in defense that will have to be corrected against a rival of such magnitude. Something that Mapi León is very aware of, pointed out in the conceded goal, but which was compensated with two good assists: “We left many spaces behind, but we tried to play in the rival's field so that he could not leave. It is clear that this carries risks for him, and we accept them, but we have to be very attentive to these types of transitions and avoid being caught behind our backs”. Spain should also improve in attack, where Mariona was too alone and wingers such as Batlle or Leila Ouahabi contributed more in attack than even Esther González.
The only expected change in Jorge Vilda's eleventh gala, little lover of touching things when they work, is that of Irene Guerrero, chosen as Alexia's replacement, but who did not quite gel. It will be Aleixandri, who against Finland completed a good game coming off the bench, who occupies the center of the field, positioning himself as the pivot and sending Patri to the inside left. The Balearic Islands knows that the midfielders will be essential to stop rival transitions: “It is always one of the most important roles in our game, but against Germany even more so because they are more physical. We will have to think harder and move faster.”
Germany, eight times European champion, holds practically all the records of the tournament: more titles, more finalist times, more goals in a final phase... "It is a very strong team that historically has great self-esteem for everything it has achieved", he pointed out Vilda yesterday. In his prolific record, he also has two World Cups and won Olympic gold in 2016, but in the last two major events he has not gone beyond the quarterfinals and has lost a position in the FIFA ranking (5th). A history in low hours? Their brilliant performance against Denmark confirms that they have overcome the slump of recent years and that today they are an even more dangerous rival, but if Spain have ever had a chance, it is now.