Euro 2024: Euro 2024- 'Insatiable' Spain make history in defeat of Germany...

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Published Time: 06.07.2024 - 03:15:11 Modified Time: 06.07.2024 - 03:15:11

"We are seeing history," the coach said in a news conference after the game. "It is the first time we have had five wins in a row at the Euros or a World Cup. Euro 2024, Euros, Euro, euros 2024, germany vs spain, Spain

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann questions the handball rule after his side was not awarded a penalty in their Euro 2024 defeat to Spain. (2:01)

"We are seeing history," the coach said in a news conference after the game. "It is the first time we have had five wins in a row at the Euros or a World Cup.

"It is also the first time beating the hosts in one of the major tournaments. It's a moment to put value on what we have achieved and enjoy this historic moment.

"We will see how the story ends, but this team wants to go all the way. These players have heart. They're insatiable; they don't tire of competing and working hard. They are ambitious. It's an honour to have players with those values."

Spain have previously struggled against hosts at major tournaments. They lost at World Cups to Russia in 2018 and South Korea in 2002, while they were also painfully beaten by France in the Euro 1984 final.

More heartbreak looked set to follow in Stuttgart when Wirtz levelled for Germany to take the game into extra time after Olmo had turned home Lamine Yamal's cross.

Spain knocked out the hosts in a major tournament for the first time. Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Merino's late goal got Spain over the line in the end, but De la Fuente was still questioned why he took off Yamal and Nico Williams, among others, after taking the lead, removing La Roja's running threat on the counter.

"It depends if it's good to run or not," he responded. "We have shown that without running [so much], we won the game. We needed to run less and be more clinical in the final third. That was enough to win a really difficult game."

A frenzied affair ended with 16 bookings and one red card -- to Spain defender Dani Carvajal -- while Germany also committed 22 fouls to Spain's 17.

De la Fuente refused to criticise Germany's approach but was not happy with an early challenge from Toni Kroos, who was playing his last game before retiring from football, on Pedri, who is likely to miss the rest of the tournament with a knee injury.

"No, because this is football," he said when asked if Germany's toughness surprised him. "I played football in the 1980s, so these things don't scare me.

"I have a friend that says: 'What do you want, for them to kiss you?' There is a referee to manage these things. We know these games are played at the limit.

"That aside, Pedri was on the end of a strong challenge that could have been dealt with in another way on the pitch. It deserved a red card."

Merino, meanwhile, celebrated the winning goal, set up by Olmo, by doing a loop around the corner flag, imitating the celebration his dad performed when he scored at the same stadium in a UEFA Cup game for Osasuna against Stuttgart in 1991.

"And then I celebrated it like crazy. All my teammates came piling over and I realised it had gone in and we were to win. I am so happy because this is a family.