Spain have the best midfield in the world, insists Fernando Morientes
Former Spain striker Fernando Morientes believes that Vicente del Bosque's side have the best midfielders in the world
Fernando Morientes has declared Spain’s midfield “the best in the world” ahead of their Euro 2012 final against Italy on Sunday.
The 36-year-old retired from international football in 2010 after scoring 27 goals in 47 appearances for Spain, taking part in successive World Cups in 1998 and 2002, while also featuring in Euro 2004.
Spain have been criticised for starting six midfielders in two of their five European championship fixtures but only Italy have managed to prevent the holders from winning, with Vicente del Bosque’s side scoring in every game.
But the former Liverpool striker described Spain’s current side as “complete” and insisted the manager can afford to omit his forwards when he has such great attacking options in midfield.
“Our midfielders are, without doubt, the best in Europe, and the world,” he told L’Equipe. “They are capable of giving their attackers the best passes.
“The fear of a striker is not being alone, but that they are given bad passes. They always have the support of the midfielders, and they are given the ball at the right moment.
“The midfield is our strong point, and our defence is among the best in the world. If you look at the stats, you will see that they rarely concede a goal.
“Although the team do not score too many goals, to get to the final is a victory. I know that no current team is as strong or as complete as Spain, from the midfield to the attack.
“When the [midfielders] play well, they can do everything in the last 20 metres of the pitch.
“All [the attacking options] are important, not just [Fernando] Torres, [Fernando] Llorente or [Alvaro] Negredo, but also the midfielders, like [David] Silva, Xavi, [Santi] Cazorla, [Andres] Iniesta or Cesc [Fabregas] who are capable of scoring goals.
“In South Arica, we reached the summit. We have not had the same sensation since then, but we have become more experienced, more mature.
“Some have the right to say that Spain no longer have the spark of 2010, but take, for example, Germany, Portugal, Italy or Netherlands. Nobody has the resources we do.”