RUIZ READY FOR STARRING ROLE AGAINST ITALY

Spain are hoping the “exceptional” Fabian Ruiz can again be the difference-maker when they look to build on an impressive win against Croatia in their second Euro 2024 outing against… The post RUIZ READY FOR STARRING ROLE AGAINST ITALY appeared first on H-Metro.

RUIZ READY FOR STARRING ROLE AGAINST ITALY

Spain are hoping the “exceptional” Fabian Ruiz can again be the difference-maker when they look to build on an impressive win against Croatia in their second Euro 2024 outing against Italy today.

The meeting between the reigning European champions and the three-time winners of the competition in Gelsenkirchen is the standout tie of the opening round at the tournament. Top spot in Group B, and a theoretically easier last-16 draw, is at stake as the two sides aim to build on victories in their opening matches. Italy came from behind to beat Albania, while Ruiz was outstanding as Spain thumped 2022 World Cup semifinalists Croatia 3-0.

Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Ruiz, 28, set up the opener for Alvaro Morata and scored himself with a classy finish as he outshone all those around him, including Croatia captain Luka Modric.

That game confirmed the importance to Luis de la Fuente’s Spain team of a player who was not taken to the last World Cup by former coach Luis Enrique.

“What can I tell you about Fabian Ruiz? He’s an exceptional player, he’s at the top level. If he wasn’t called Fabian you would be talking a lot more about him,” said De la Fuente.

“Based on what we’ve seen from him on a daily basis he’s fantastic and has brilliant technique, we know what he brings to the team.

“We should recognise the quality that he has. He has real imagination.”

De la Fuente’s relationship with Ruiz goes back to when he was coach of Spain’s Under-21 team — Ruiz was the star player when they won the Under-21 Euros in 2019.

It was around that time that the former Betis man broke into the full Spain squad, and he featured in Luis Enrique’s team at the last Euros, when they went out to Italy in the semifinals. Yet he was not a starter, and Luis Enrique did not pick him again, meaning he was out in the cold by the time the 2022 World Cup came around. — SuperSport.

The post RUIZ READY FOR STARRING ROLE AGAINST ITALY appeared first on H-Metro.

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