Rodri speaks out on Spain's shock World Cup defeat to Japan

1 month ago

Manchester City midfielder Rodri has opened up on Spain's World Cup defeat to Japan in their final group stage game, insisting La Roja must learn from it.

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Spain fell to a 2-1 defeat in matchday three of the World Cup thanks to a quickfire turnaround from Japan at the beginning of the second half, turning Spain's 1-0 lead on its head in a matter of minutes.

A shock win for Japan meant they progressed to the last 16 as winners of Group E and resigned Luis Enrique's side to a second-placed finish. And while that should've given Japan a more favourable tie, they have been drawn against 2018 runners up Croatia.

Not interested in discussing potential opponents or focusing too much on the group stages, Rodri said to reporters ahead of their last 16 tie with Morocco: "Now a new competition is beginning. There is always analysis on what we can improve on, even after the games when we've played well.

"The other day (against Japan) there weren't that many things to improve on because it was a 10-minute collapse and this is what we have to do better. We've been warned that this cannot happen again."

He added: "The coach has been clear, the players have assumed responsibility and we're training happily, wanting to be in the next round and knowing that we can get there."

Rodri has found himself becoming a key figure for Enrique at the World Cup so far, but in a centre-back role. Speaking on the positional tweak, he added: "I try to exploit my characteristics. I help to come out with the ball played from the back. Our opponents give us little space between the lines, so the central defender is very important in our scheme.

"We have a specific way of playing, creating superiority from the back...our way of playing is to provide solutions and get the ball out from the back, but we know when we have to take risks and when not to."

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