Spain will face Italy tonight in the first semi-final of Euro 2020 at Wembley stadium. It will be a blockbuster match as both the teams have enjoyed success in the tournament despite not being on the tournament favourites list for many.
Italy will be without Leonardo Spinazzola who suffered an injury in the quarter-finals. Spain will also be without their legendary defender and captain, Sergio Ramos who was not included in the squad citing his injury throughout the last season.
Spanish defender Eric Garcia, who returned to this boyhood club Barcelona from Manchester City this season, has now revealed that the youthful Spanish side still respects the older generation who achieved so much for their country. Garcia revealed that Ramos’ No 15 Spain shirt has been left vacant as it will always be reserved for him.
Eric Garcia told Radio MARCA.”We never thought about taking the No.15 [shirt], it was always reserved for [Sergio Ramos],”
“Ramos is a player I don’t need to say anything about.”
“Everyone knows what he brings and I was surprised about his absence, as I was with the others who aren’t here.”
Garcia added: “I think the key is that the team is very united.”
“From the beginning, we’ve known what we had to do: work hard and improve in every match.”
“For many of us it is our first European Championship and together with those who have a lot of experience, we’ve made a great group.”
“We’ve had everything happen to us… [Sergio] Busquets’ positive [COVID test], isolation days before the European Championship, which wasn’t ideal, and the team has grown a lot since then.”
“We didn’t get the result we were looking for in the first two games [against Sweden and Poland], but we kept working and [now] we’re in the semis.”
“That says a lot about us as a team and the staff.”
Eric Garcia is also grateful to Luis Enrique for showing his faith in him. He said: “The truth is I haven’t played [for Manchester City] that much.”
“I knew the consequences of not renewing when I took the decision.”
“I’ve very grateful to Luis Enrique for the faith he’s shown in me and I hope to repay it.”
Garcia concluded by commenting on the Italian team: “I think they are a side with a lot of experience, they’ve changed to playing with more combinations.”
“With the midfield and forwards they have, they can make the difference. They have young players further forward and experience at the back.”
“[Leonardo] Spinazzola’s absence [at left-back] could be important.”