Luis Enrique praises goalkeeper Unai Simon for his impressive display despite an early blunder

Spain manager Luis Enrique praised goalkeeper Unai Simon for his impressive display against Croatia, despite an early blunder. Spain won 5-3 in extra-time.

Unai Simon of Athletic Bilbao in Spanish La Liga
Unai Simon of Athletic Bilbao in Spanish La Liga /IMAGO

The Spanish keeper made some crucial saves in the victory against Croatia to make up for his early mistake.

Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon made a huge blunder in the Round-of-16 clash against Croatia in European Championship. Pedri’s back pass from 40 yards distance, rolled into his own net during early stages of the game.

However, as the game wore on, the Athletic Club shot-stopper grew in confidence and made some vital saves to make up for his early mistake, eventually helping Spain win an epic encounter in extra time.

La Roja manager Luis Enrique has lauded Simon for his display, saying the young keeper has taught everyone a lesson by going from a villain to a hero.

Enrique said: “[Unai Simon] has taught everyone a lesson. After a mistake, your mistake does not matter, but your attitude after the mistake.

“It is a lesson for all his teammates and for all the children who want to play football.”

Enrique also offered his thoughts on the nail-biting encounter: “It was an epic match. It had positive and some negative things.

“Football is a sport of mistakes. The two sets of fans have applauded the two teams for the effort and show that the two teams have given.

“I have lived through some very intense matches, but this is one of the most.”

It came as a surprise when Enrique chose Simon as the main goalkeeper ahead of experienced David de Gea for Euro 2020.

However, Enrique’s faith in the 24-year-old looks to be not going in vain as he has already impressed between the sticks, managing two clean sheets thus far.

The confident-looking Spanish side will meet Switzerland – who shocked France in the RoundRound of 16 – in the quarter-finals.