Spain coach Luis de la Fuente praised the winners' solid defending and clinical counterattacks, while Patrick Gonfalone said France had not taken their chances.
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Luis de la Fuente, Spain coach
Obviously I'm very happy and satisfied to be in the final – it's been a difficult tournament and we've played tough opponents, especially tonight. It was a very good France team but we were calm and collected for 90 minutes and we knew how to manage the game. Then we finished the match, like big teams do. We took advantage of our counterattacking game and, thanks to a great player like Marco Asensio, were able to get the win.
We were playing against a very good team – very tough opponents. France don't just have a very good team but they also have quality individual players. We defended very well and didn't allow them clear chances. Apart from 10-15 minutes in the first half where possession was quite even, we imposed our style and when given the chance to counterattack, we delivered. Our defending was excellent – it was a complete game tonight.
Our aim is to play attacking football based on our defensive game, and to be assured at the back. France are very powerful up front – they have strongly-built players – but we defended very well. We didn't give them chances in second-phase balls and that was crucical. Antonio Sivera is the best goalkeeper in the tournament; when he has to intervene, he does it very well but it's better for us if he's not involved.
Facing Russia will be a totally different match [to the 3-1 Group B defeat] because it's a final and both teams will do everything to win. The group match doesn't tell us anything. Right now, we're ready to play as we played today – that's the path we have to follow. Our morale is high after this win, our physical condition is improving and we'll rely on the talent of our players to make the most of Russia's weak points.
Patrick Gonfalone, France coach
Frustrated? Yes. We'd prepared well and analysed Spain thoroughly. The first 30 minutes were especially hard but then we came into it and put some decent attacks together. We have a lot of regrets, especially how the game ended. The frustration is that I thought physically Spain were worse than us and, had it gone to extra time, that would have been decisive in our favour, but that's football – one small moment decides the match.
The two teams were relatively even – there wasn't much between them. The main problem is that, when we were on top, we needed to score – and we didn't. We didn't have much luck in attack tonight. Against Spain, a team with real quality, you need that. But it was two good teams and two strong countries; even if Spain have won tonight, on another night it could have been us. Spain have some players of great talent, and they know how to make the difference in attack when they have only a few chances. Maybe we lack that in France at the moment – players who can decide a match in one instance.
We've put together a squad with stability and balance, a good group of players but they still have progress to make. Tactically we have work to do in France – this possession game is very interesting. In our country, we have quality players who rely more on power, and they can make the difference for us – not against Spain tonight, though. Overall, it's been a good tournament and a good season for these players; they're the players of the future. And good luck to Spain for the final.