Of course all the journos wanted to know about yesterday’s flop of a match, but like a good player and coach, Iniesta came to the defense of VdB & VdB came to the defense of his players. More importantly, both were able to remain positive & talk about La Roja’s drive to reach the Semi-finals.
People were upset after the game and criticized the changes made by Vicente del Bosque …
All the reviews are respectable as constructive and not heated. Everyone has their way of seeing things, everyone would do different things, but tell people that he was quiet, to continue relying on the team, regardless of the players that played, because football is very even. Spain is no exception to suffer or have moments of doubt. We’d love to have won three zero and be comfortable during the game but it wasn’t like that, Iker Casillas was immense again, respect to what people say or what you feel, but the team is good and still in the fight. The championship is hard and we said it would be difficult to repeat it. Saturday’s game will be good.
Have you seen the photograph in which you appear surrounded by five opposing players?
I’ve seen the picture where I’m surrounded by five players and today I received a similar one. They are curious moments that can occur in a game. It is a reason to be satisfied, because that is the definition of the opponent watching you and you ignored.
In the game against Croatia the team was more tired and said Busquets so in mixed zone. Do you agree?
Maybe in the game we all had phases, times when we were good with the ball and were able to dominate, also moments of doubt, perhaps because of the situation involving the game, it’s not easy to play when you know that with a goal they can throw you to the street. On the other hand, the requirement of the competition is wearing but I would like to think that it was a game of more suffering and we’ve had enough days to get in top condition Saturday. I always see the selection go from less to more and I have full confidence in the team.
What team would you like to face in the semifinals?
They are rivals with different styles of play: France may have a match with more of the ball and combine, England is well organized and expected to counterattack. Today, without ruling on Ukraine to play at home, it’s an added plus, all have players that makes them dangerous. As of now, the playoffs are life and death and I hope the team can be fine.
Do you think Casillas and you are competing above the level of the rest?
When we win, we all win, and when we lose, we all lose. I do not see the team at a lower level, I see strength, there are times when we had bad moments, as all teams do. We would be mistaken if we thought we could win every game three zero. I have no feeling that Spain is now living by two players in particular.
What do you think of having to travel to Ukraine (Donetsk)?
It’s a good sign, that means we’re in the next round. It’s the competition and these are the existing venues, you have to play where you must play. We are happy to go to Ukraine to play a quarter-final.
Rivals tend to back down knowing the game of Spain …
The team earned it with the good level of players. It is a respect we have earned and that we must seize. We know that when you win a lot, it is difficult to overcome and also keep up. Our challenge is to improve ourselves and try to play each game better. We will still have the dream of winning this Championship, that no one can take away.
How likely is it to see you again raise the European Cup?
Winning again is harder, the opposition also plays. Croatia is a great team, with players at a great level who also want to beat the world champion. It is the challenge we have, the challenge to improve ourselves, to re-conquer the 2008 title but with more difficulty. We’ll try being in the semi-final and again that people feel proud of the team and we will give it our all, it’s our mentality.
“I watched the game again last night. Everyone who has analyzed it said we struggled a lot but I realized that we didn’t do things so badly.
“The threat existed but I think we did things relatively well. It was a horrible game for us. The talk of fixes and pacts and that a draw suited us made it a very difficult game. We know we have resources and one of the most unique is Jesus Navas.”
“I accept you are not in agreement with what I saw. There are distinct opinions. You always have to look at the results. Defensively, there was only Rakitic’s chance and a shot from (Darijo) Srna. We didn’t have penetration but that can happen in football. I think they had more difficulty than us when we had a striker and when we didn’t. With Fernando (Torres) and without him there were two separate games, like the day against Italy. The Rakitic effort has left us with this sensation but I wouldn’t say Croatia dominated.”
“We have gone from a poor man to a rich man very quickly and now we don’t value anything. We don’t value what we have.
“I think we are fallible and we have to transmit that to the players but we have passed through to the quarter-finals and we haven’t seen any congratulations of that. I think we have qualified superbly and will continue in the same manner. The future is in our hands and we will see where we end up but I hope it is the final.”
“Football is a permanent debate. We have 23 players and any of them could play, The important thing is our group and our line-up is stable, like the principles of our play. We cannot have doubts in them.”
“I am not saying I agree with everyone but in many points we agree with the people. I am not saying we are overly optimistic but we know we have a chance. We are going with this into the quarters and possibly semi-finals as serious candidates.”