Although it still keeps alive a remote option to enter the semifinals, the most realistic goal of Spain is to look at the 2020 Games, a major battle. The World Cup not only puts the title in play, but also six places for the pre-Olympic. From the second to the seventh place they will obtain a position for the tournament to be held in the spring of 2020, probably in April, at a venue to be determined.
The two defeats against Croatia Y France in just three days they have forced Hispanics to refocus their aspirations. Now the mind in the Spanish concentration has traveled to Tokyo. The Olympic absence in Rio 2016, the first in 40 years, was the great skid of this generation of players, who they recognize that it is an obsession get one of the 12 tickets of the Asian date.
The victory of this Sunday in Brazil against the Balkan national team (29-26) has made this Monday's match of Spain with the Cariocas (18.00, Teledeporte) a final. Winning is the first step to enter that pre-Olympic. Losing him would prevent him from fighting for that seventh place in the World Cup and he would have to trust the European within a year.
Defeat the canarinha he would secure the fourth place of his group in this second phase and could play a decisive duel against the fourth of the other group for that seventh position. Even if he manages to win the remaining two matches (Brazil and Germany), he could still finish third (depending on other results), which would give him direct access to the pre-Olympic because he would fight for the fifth and sixth place in the World Cup.
The pre-Olympic is now the most accessible route to Japan, although not the only one. In the European Championship to be held in January 2020 in three countries (Austria, Norway and Sweden), the champion will go directly to Tokyo, or the runner-up if the gold hangs the same as this World Cup. In addition, the first two classified in that tournament that have not previously obtained a place for the pre-Olympic, will also achieve it. A whole swarm of possibilities for a goal that is imperious. The road to the Games is long, but the first step does not admit shortcuts: defeat Brazil.
It will be a family duel for Jordi Ribera, who will face its past. The coach coached the South American team in two seasons (2005-08 and 2012-16) and many of the current players of the canarinha he directed them, and even formed, the Spanish coach. "We continue working with the same idea with which we started there and that paid off. In fact, the coach [Washington Nunes] he was my assistant and all the technicians who are behind were trained with us ", explains Ribera. "We are looking to change the profile of the template for the 2016 Games. Perhaps some of them were too young, but from now on they will have a greater expression. They followed me blindly and part of the success was that delivery to the project, which included the first team and the lower categories. " For this match, the Federation announced Monday morning the return to the list of goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales, injured last Friday after a billboard fell on him, instead of Arpad Sterbik, his substitute on Saturday against France.
Meanwhile, the most optimistic continue to use the calculator to find out the options to access the semifinals, which still exist: win the two duels that remain, France defeat Croatia, and the Balkan and German tie.