Chelsea star leaves Gary Neville red-faced after Euro 2024 prediction goes badly wrong

Gary Neville is a pundit for ITV Sport for Euro 2024
-Credit: (Image: ITV Sport)

Marc Cucurella issued another reminder of his quality on Tuesday evening, making Gary Neville's pre-Euro 2024 assessment of the Chelsea defender worse by the week.

Cucurella has featured in all but one of Spain's games at the Euros and helped his country reach the final of the competition after a 2-1 win over France in Munich.

Speaking ahead of Spain's opening match in Germany against Croatia, Neville claimed Cucurella could hold La Roja back in their quest for glory. The opposite has instead played out, which may well have come as a surprise to the ITV pundit and many football fans.

Sharing his concern over Chelsea's No.3, the ex-Manchester United defender last month said: "I didn't think he'd play. He's not been convincing at Chelsea, he's played a few games towards the end of the season. He's aggressive, he's tenacious, he's a busy little fullback, that price tag still astounds everybody, I think, still to this day.

"The Spanish defence has a lot of experience now, obviously, but there's something just missing from Spain that makes you feel like they're going to go all the way, and I have to say him [Cucurella] being at left-back is another example of why we think that."

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It remains to be seen if Cucurella will now go on to become a European champion on Sunday, when Spain go head-to-head against one of England or the Netherlands.

Should the Three Lions manage to set up a showdown with Spain, members of Gareth Southgate's defence will also have gone some way to proving Neville wrong after he cast doubt over the lack of quality in this position at the start of the tournament.

"When you think about winning a tournament... unless this tournament is going to throw up something previous tournaments haven't, defensively you have to be strong to go the whole way. That is the massive worry," he said.

"I was hearing Roy [Keane] last night talking about it, and Ian [Wright) referring to it, everyone is referring to England's defence. I'm struggling to see, unless Gareth [Southgate] somehow finds a way to compensate for them, how we go the whole way with that back four. Unless they play the game of their lives every week, but I'm struggling to see how that can happen."