Spain are “not scared” of facing England in the European Women’s Championship quarter-finals and are extra motivated to eliminate the tournament hosts, according to midfielder Aitana Bonmati.
La Roja beat Denmark 1-0 at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday through a late Marta Cardona goal to set up a last-eight showdown with a much-fancied England side on Wednesday.
England won all three of their group matches, scoring 14 times and conceding none, while they have netted at an average of 5.8 goals per game in their 17 matches under Sarina Wiegman (98 goals in total).
Just as remarkably, the Lionesses have conceded just three goals across those 17 games under Wiegman and never more than once in a single contest, keeping 14 clean sheets in the process.
Spain are ranked one place above England in the latest FIFA rankings, however, and Bonmati does not see any reason for her side to fear the rampant hosts in Brighton next week.
“It’s motivating,” said Bonmati, who plies her club trade for Barcelona. “I’m not scared and I think my team-mates aren’t scared either.
“We played against England in the Arnold Clark Cup. We know that they are a good team and they have had many good performances.
“We have seen their three group games and they did very well. But we think we can beat them if we improve our style and play better [than against Denmark].”
England and Spain have faced each other on 15 previous occasions, with the Lionesses (six) winning twice as many games as La Roja (three) across all their meetings.
However, Spain are unbeaten in the past two of those meetings, beating England 1-0 in the SheBelieves Cup in 2020 (1-0) and drawing 0-0 against them in the Arnold Clark Cup in February.
Only once previously have Spain gone three in a row without defeat against England, doing so between 1993 and 1996 (four games).
Echoing the views of team-mate Bonmati, Ona Batlle is optimistic of advancing to the semi-finals, where a showdown with one of Sweden or the Netherlands may await.
“We’ve seen a lot of their games and I think they play really well, really good. They have a really good squad and it is not just the starting players. Everyone there is a good player,” she said.
“They are very strong and they are playing in England, so they have that [home advantage]. But that’s going to be a boost for us because we know everything [about them] and we are ready for them. I think we can do it.”