Spain coach Luis Enrique: I can't criticise the players for anything

Spain coach Luis Enrique: I can't criticise the players for anything

Spain coach Luis Enrique: I can't criticise the players for anything

Not long after that, Marco Asensio picked up a stray pass in the final third and fired past Lovre Kalinic with a stunning effort.

To reach the Nations League finals next June, Spain need just two points from their remaining two games, at home to England and away to Croatia.

Spain's golden era is often described as being constructed on a base of Barcelona players but the team's future looks set to revolve around footballers from Real Madrid if the resounding 6-0 hammering of Croatia on Tuesday is anything to go by.

Asensio then laid on three more goals in the second half as Rodrigo Moreno, Sergio Ramos and Isco completed a statement victory in Elche.

Spain versus Croatia had the potential to be an entertaining contest given what the latter achieved at the 2018 World Cup.

Croatia could do little to stop the Spanish onslaught as the World Cup finalists suffered their worst ever defeat in team history. Under Luis Enrique, the defence is heavily involved in the build-up, at the expense of midfield to some extent, in order to draw the opposition up the pitch and create space for the attacking players.

As a former Barca coach, it was an inevitable that his Madrid-heavy selection choice would be a talking point, although Luis Enrique did not want anything to be read into it. "I did not know or care", he said.

Even with all their key men available, though, Croatia's talent pool pales in comparison to that at the disposal of Luis Enrique.

Madrid play Athletic Bilbao at the San Memes this weekend, which, coincidentally, was the same stadium that a fresh-faced 18-year-old Iker Casillas made his debut 19 years ago today.

Spain were barely recognisable from the team that failed to break down Russian Federation in the last 16 but it should also be said they put six past Argentina, under Julen Lopetegui, in March.

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, so dominant at the World Cup, never took control while defensively, without Dejan Lovren, the mistakes kept coming.

"What happened has happened, all their chances have gone in and it is better that it happened today than later. After the second goal, the match was over for us".

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