When Iaki Saez gave the last push

a With the exception of the first bitter silver and later caramel medal won by Navarese taekwondo player Gabriel Esparza, the Sydney Olympics were not friendly with the Basque athletes who competed in the disciplines considered individual. Marathonist Martin Viz, gymnast Almudena Syed or cyclists Joan Sumariba and Abraham Olano, arrived at the Australian event among the candidates for the podium. Among the candidates for filling the medals are Basque representation. However, in the end, the scarcity came from Esparza because the rest of the Basque medals came from team sports. Thus, the silver reaped by the state football team was one of the things we talked about the most. The Spanish absolute had just fired Javier Clemente, who fell to Cyprus in the first game of Euro 2000, but the under-23 team was led by One of Iñaki Sáez with less stature and greater credit as a coaching technician. And this, in addition, dealt with another method. So the Bilbao coach took charge of some of the youngsters who used to be on the international podiums. However, they finished third in the European Sub-Championship 21 of 94, second in one of 96 and champions in one of 98. In addition, they suspended world gold just a year ago. In other words, the hopes were high, but they were also real.

In this way, Sáez It made a good group with Dani Aranzubia, Jose Maria Lacruz and Unai Vergara Like the Basque representation. But it’s also nurtured by absolute champions like Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Carlos Marchena and Joan Capdevilla. However, despite these names, the state team was clearly not the favourite. In fact, there was no clear candidate for the title as the big teams attended the games with their best men. Thus, Chile’s Zamorano, Cameroon’s Eto’o, Brazilian Ronaldinho or Italy’s Pirlo led teams thirsty and ready for anything. Overall, Spain got off to a good start with a 3-0 win over lowly South Korea. But in that duel, Saez showed some of his intentions. He gave the goal to Aranzubia, the midfield keys to Xavi and Gabri and the goal responsibility to Jose Mari. But in the second match they fell dramatically against Chile (1-3) so the country’s team will play the pass on the last day of the group stage against Morocco. It was achieved with a score of 2-0.

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In the quarter-finals, Italy was waiting for Pirlo, who could not play. But nevertheless, it was the black beast of Spain. The contender the state team hasn’t been able to win since those Olympics in 1920. With Pichichi, Bilaust and Zamora. Almost prehistoric. However, a modified goal according to Asa Gabri, when the match was moribund, smashed the stats and rewrote a new story. Spain moved on to the fight for medals. And in the semi-finals, the United States landed easier than Italy. So, with 3-1, Saez’s men made sure to climb onto the Sydney Olympic podium.

Penalty kicks

Aranzubia, Lacruz and their cohorts played in the final of the Games against the surprising Cameroon. Eto’o, Carlos Kameni, Patrick Mboma…they were the proper names for a competitor who was, however, generally terrifying. Despite this, Spain started the final well and in the first half they left with a score of 2-0 which made us dream of Olympic gold. However, Cameroon did not give up and took advantage of the fair expulsion of Gabri and José Marie to equalize. With two fewer men in the green, Saez lowered the ranks and forced everyone to defend, but Mboma and Ito closed the tables and imposed penalties. In a lucky batch, everyone scored except Amaya, who guessed Kamini’s intent; So the Africans celebrated the gold and the Spaniards had to accept the silver which would start to be valued as the days went by.

Saez’s team fell in the final against Cameroon on penalties, after losing the lead 2-0

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