Lopetegui delighted as Spain beat 'one of the best' in France

By Ben Spratt 29 March 2017 513
Lopetegui delighted as Spain beat 'one of the best' in France

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui gave credit to his players after they saw off "one of the best teams in the world" in France on Tuesday.

The visitors ran out 2-0 winners in a friendly at the Stade de France, scoring through David Silva and Gerard Deulofeu as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) twice ruled in their favour.

Antoine Griezmann's strike was ruled out for offside early in the second half with Deulofeu's effort similarly confirmed from the booth to cap a fine Spanish display.

Lopetegui disputed suggestions that the VAR was the game's deciding factor, insisting his players earned victory.

"The VAR has not favoured us," he said. "It was the attitude of my players that won the game. I'm very happy."

And Lopetegui was particularly pleased to beat a highly rated France team, who started with Monaco's teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe up front.

"France have a spectacular generation and they are one of the best teams in the world, without a doubt," the coach added.

Deulofeu won the penalty for the opener and struck the second goal at the end of a fine team move, and Lopetegui reserved special praise for the winger, suggesting that he could become a regular in the side.

"[Deulofeu] made a decisive entry into the game," Lopetegui said. "We are very happy, he is a guy who can contribute a lot of things.

"He has to continue growing in the way he is, with the same mentality. Many games like this await him."

And Deulofeu added his appreciation to the coach.

"Thank you, Lopetegui, for your trust," he said. "It is a pleasure to be with these players. I will work to come back."

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Ben Spratt