European Championship semi-finals: Spain’s Dani Olmo – from the bench to a well-deserved spotlight Dhyeyaias

Ending: July 8, 2024 1:47 pm

Dani Olmo only joined the Spanish team after Pedri was injured. His performance against Germany endeared him to the Spaniards.

In the quarter-finals, Toni Kroos left Spanish fans breathless after just three minutes of play. Not a pass or shot through the back chain, but an unnecessary hard foul. Pedri, who along with Rodri and Fabian Ruiz formed the core of an exciting Spain squad, lay on the grass in agony.

He then forced himself across the pitch for another five minutes until he realized he couldn’t go any further. Then came the painful realization: sprained knee, game over. For others, the game was just beginning at this moment: Dani Olmo replaced Pedri, who limped off.

key figure; main force; important member RB Leipzig-Spain substitute

It’s not Olmo’s European Championship so far. The key player from RB Leipzig has impressed in the second half of the Bundesliga season and has recently proven to be a goal threat in a Spanish shirt – but the Spanish midfielder still can’t get around Fabian Ruiz and Pedri . So Olmo must be content with a substitute role.

In the first game against Croatia, the game was already decided 3-0, and Olmo got a chance in the last half hour. When the group victory was already determined before the third round, he, as a member of the B elves, helped the team defeat Albania 1-0. Olmo scored the winning goal through a perfect pass from the Albanian team. In the round of 16 against Georgia, he scored a wild card goal to make the score 4-1.

From substitute to match winner

It was these tasks that ensured Spain did not let so-called early weaknesses unsettle them in their quarter-final against Germany. Olmo took over from Pedri and played an important role: as the national team coach Julian Nagelsmann identified Fabian Ruiz as the biggest threat in the Spanish midfield before the game and let him Emre Can covers him, so Olmo becomes an important bridge between Rodri and the team.

He played the role brilliantly. He punished Robert Andric for a positional error early in the second half and took the lead from Lamine Yamal’s low pass at the back. In the 119th minute, he found Mikel Merino in a half-court cross, and Mikel Merino scored with a header after being blocked by Antonio Rüdiger, helping Spain win. .

Olmo decided the game as he remained precise after 120 minutes when most other players were exhausted. He later revealed in an interview with Sportschau: “I don’t know how I did it either. I am very proud. In the end we use our hearts instead of our legs“Reward: Enter the semi-finals and win the best player award.

From football fans’ darling to famous hero

Suddenly, Olmo was getting the spotlight he deserved in Spain. Spanish sports magazine Marca described Olmo as “best example“The Spanish national team is in enviable form. A”Simply wonderful game“The 26-year-old performed brilliantly after being substituted in the eighth minute. Olmo is that man.”Spain miraculously advanced to the semi-finals”.

Olmo was not used to such praise from his homeland. Even before the quarter-finals, he said in an interview that he might be more well-known in Germany than in Spain. His path to Spanish football’s elite has long been considered predetermined: the playmaker, born on the outskirts of Barcelona, ​​spent six years at famed talent factory La Masia. In four of those years, he was the top scorer in his age group.

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From La Masia to the Bundesliga via Croatia

He did not sign a professional contract with FC Barcelona and instead moved to Croatian record champions Dinamo Zagreb. Away from the attention of Spanish sports media, Olmo made his debut for Zagreb’s first team at the age of 16. In 2019, he became the Croatian Player of the Year and led the Spanish team to win the U21 European Championship final against Germany.

Since then he has been on every European scout’s list. In the following winter transfer period, he joined RB Leipzig coached by Julian Nagelsmann for less than 30 million euros. The slender ball-carrier has quickly made his mark on the Bundesliga. Despite frequent injuries, Olmo has been one of Leipzig’s most important players for four years. He is currently considered a popular candidate to succeed Kevin De Bruyne, which is not unreasonable if he can manchester city Head to the desert.

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