Jun 29, 2016

    In the end, the best team won, admits Pique


    SPAIN can no longer match the standards that won back-to-back European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012, Gerard Pique noted after his side crashed out of the 2016 edition to Italy.

    The 2-0 defeat means that Spain, who also claimed their maiden World Cup in 2010, have now been embarrassed in two consecutive major tournaments.

    They were dumped out of the 2014 World Cup as holders after just two group matches.

    "We have to be realistic, we don't have the same level as when we were world and European champions," said Barcelona defender Pique.

    "There are youngsters coming through that promise a lot.

    "There are others who have years of experience and we have to continue offering that experience and talent.

    "In the end, the best team won. To win, Spain have to play much better than the opponents and today it wasn't like that."

    The two sides will meet again as early as October in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.