Spain unleash high-speed demolition of Croatia to put tiki-taka in the past

For the first time in 137 games, Spain did not complete as many passes as their opponents, and they could not be happier. The last time the majority of possession had not been theirs was the final of Euro 2008 when they beat Germany to begin the greatest generation in their history. This is another generation: this time, with no one left from Vienna and Lamine Yamal, the youngest footballer this competition has ever seen, on the wing, they defeated Croatia 3-0 to give them the hope that maybe they can go back there one day in the not too distant future.

This was a new beginning, a new generation. And while it would be rule out another false dawn, it impressed. Fast, incisive, and effective, Spain opened the group of death with a flash of life, Alvaro Morata, Fabián Ruiz and Dani Carvajal scoring to rack up a 3-0 victory before the first half was even out and to reinforce suggestions that there might be a different direction they can take.

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