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Gaizka Mendieta: Spain must start as they mean to go on

In his first UEFA EURO 2020 column, former Spain midfielder Gaizka Mendieta talks up La Roja's chances but warns that they must hit the ground running against Sweden.

Opening games are always so important.

In Spain's case, we are up against a youthful, new-look side in Sweden. I really like our chances in the group, but you always need to get off to a good start to build confidence. Starting off with a win is important, and if you can play good football in the process then it will be perfect.

I'm sure that both the Spanish Football Federation and the team itself will analyse where they have stumbled in the last few tournaments and come up short, even if many of this squad were not involved then.

In any case, when something does not go right in a major tournament, you cannot wait for the next one to come around to get rid of the doubts and show your real selves. I think this is how the team are feeling. Spain have the potential to go all the way.

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