Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has claimed Spain have the best squad in their UEFA Nations League group, despite suffering their second defeat in four matches at the hands of Croatia on Thursday.
Group A4 consists of Spain, Croatia and England, and the 3-2 loss to Croatia means all three teams are still in with a chance of finishing top of the group. Sunday's clash between Croatia and England will decide who wins the group and who is relegated, with the only certainty in the group the fact that Spain cannot be relegated.
Speaking after the match, which was decided by a 93rd minute strike from Croatia's Tin Jedvaj, Busquets admitted he was frustrated with his side's mistakes. He is quoted by Football Espana as saying: “It was a pity that they scored when they did, although a draw wouldn’t have helped us much.
“They came out very strongly. We had some problems in the first half, especially the first few minutes.
“They dropped off physically in the second half and we had several chances, especially in the six yard box.
“We deserved more. We deserved to go ahead, but for one reason or another it wasn’t to be. Now we have to hope England and Croatia draw on Sunday because we’re no longer reliant on ourselves.
“It was a very difficult group, with some strong national teams who came in from good showings at the World Cup. We’ve been the group’s best national team, but we’ve been punished by some timely mistakes.”
Both England and Croatia enjoyed a deep run during this summer's World Cup tournament. The two sides met in the semi-final of the competition, with Croatia advancing to meet France in the final. Spain, however, found themselves eliminated in the round of 16 at the hands of hosts Russia.
Defeat against Croatia meant that Spain have now tasted defeat at the hands of both of the teams in Group A4, with England having emerged with a 3-2 victory against the Spaniards in October.
Spain are also the lowest-ranked side out of the three on FIFA's latest world rankings. They currently sit ninth in the list, which is four places behind England and five behind Croatia.