Spain, who face Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals, are the best team in the world at the moment and here is why

For my first column for Moving the Goalposts I was asked: how do you beat Spain? Well, it is easier said than done. When my Sweden team faced them in Gothenburg in September I had a moment which felt like an out-of-body experience: I could see clearly which kinds of balls they wanted to play and the patterns of their passes. They like to play diagonal passes from the No 6 up to the No 8s and, from there, switch the play. The problem, though, was reacting to it as they are just so quick.

I’ve seen them close up probably more than I’d have liked in the past year – three times, in fact, as we lost a World Cup semi-final to them and then suffered late defeats in both our Nations League group games against them.

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