‘Perfect computer’ Rodri is linchpin for Spain with tempered demeanour

La Roja midfielder magisterially dictated tempo and alleviated emotions in comeback win against Georgia

Rodri Hernández stopped, which was when Spain started again. “Sometimes,” the Manchester City midfielder said, “20 or 30 seconds of saying to people ‘Calm down’ is more productive than going on the attack” – and this was one of those times.

The selección were half an hour into their last-16 tie with Georgia and they had taken nine shots to their opponents none but to everyone’s shock, especially their own, they were losing through a Robin Le Normand own goal. Worse, they were losing control.

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