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01st Jul 2018

Sergio Ramos breaks record that summed up Spain’s match against Russia

Robert Redmond

Spain’s World Cup match with Russia on Sunday afternoon was high on drama, but it was a chore to watch at times.

This game saw the bad side of Spain’s insistence on dominating possession. They were slow, ponderous and failed to play penetrative passes. Russia had all 11 players behind the ball for most of the match, and it would have been a difficult task for any side to break down. But the 2010 World Cup winners appeared to lack ideas.

Diego Costa was completely isolated during his time on the pitch. He touched the ball just 30 times and Spain’s midfielders never seemed to look for him when they were on the ball. Spain midfielder Isco managed over 180 touches of the ball. Jordi Alba, Spain’s left-back, touched the ball over 170 times, their right-back Nacho got just over 50 touches as Spain focused their attacks down their left-hand side. It wasn’t an easy afternoon for the hosts, but Russia were largely comfortable as they sat deep and waited to land a sucker punch on their illustrious opponents.

Spain’s underwhelming display was summed up by a record Sergio Ramos broke during the match. The Spain captain broke the record for the most passes ever made in a World Cup match (141).

Ramos ended up making 183 passes. On the Russian side, Vladimir Granat didn’t make a single successful pass during his time on the pitch.

However, despite all those passes, all their dominance of play, the match ended 1-1 and went to penalties, where Spain lost.