My apologies that this post (and the training post up next) are coming to you a day late! It was all about my favorite one year old yesterday & his birthday party was longer & crazier than I was expecting. So…it’s FINAL day! The Euros have gone by so quick, haven’t they? It feels like yesterday we were spotting Mou watching his boys in the first round. It makes me a little sad to know there wont be anymore daily pretty pressers or super hyper NT training sessions , hopefully La Roja does everything right tonight & we’ll get a proper Bromance send-off tomorrow, where they’ll be partying in Madrid! Actually, I believe El Pais said there will be celebrations tomorrow either way. WOOT!
The role of favorites that’s given to Spain, this time it’s true …
We appreciate the praise from Italy, but we are reciprocal. Italy has a good team, in my point of view, the other day there was no surprise to Germany. I think that Italy showed their characteristics and go to the final solidly. They have a strong set that knows what they play. We do not think we are favorites. On the contrary. I think we’re equal.
In all the time you have been together, Xavi and you, what feelings have you when you are about to make history?
It’s true we started fifteen years ago, when we were fifteen or sixteen. We have been growing in our clubs and with parallel lives in football. Our example shows that young people have opportunities for success. We hope to continue reaching kids who are already doing important things, like last year at the European Under-21.
Are you feeling like four years ago or two years in Vienna or South Africa …
In my case, it’s different. At the World Cup it was very nervous, and we got the tournament by endorsing the development team. Now it’s continuity. Unthinkable is all that happened to us. Now it’s different but exciting. We already made history. We defend a title we worked very hard for four years ago.
Is it the biggest game of your life, as the coach said?
It’s a final, the game of Portugal, it was decided to penalties, in the lottery, and that time was the most important. We will defend what we did four years ago, which is very nice.
On having had the opportunity to kick Italy out by drawing with Croatia – “I think we did our jobs in the group phase. There had been speculation about a draw but, as our Coach said, we never regret playing for the win and that’s also if we lose tomorrow.”
“Italy have changed. They play catenaccio, but they’re also good with the ball. They’re more talented than ever.”
“We enjoy our game and want to stay true to the style that has brought so much success in recent years. Our fans can identify that style. We enjoy it, our fans do and I think others ought to as well. If it is boring for people that Spain always win, then it is a fantastic thing for us! We are making history and are looking forward to tomorrow.”
“We have achieved great things with Spain and at club level. We were very lucky to have a great generation of footballers and we have another chance to continue making history. We want to keep on improving over the years together. We just want to enjoy it, as we are in the second consecutive Euro Final. We want to do well and show everybody this side is still hungry for success.”
“What this national team has achieved is already set in stone. Successes can make you complacent but we have a group of players who know what this sport is and they have not lost one iota of competitiveness.”
“The younger players who have come in have filled the squad with fresh desire and we have maintained all our competitive spirit. That’s very important for us. We want to set the seal on the work we have been doing in the Spanish soccer federation over many years.”
“We all want to end this cycle with a victory, but Italy has been improving throughout the tournament and are coming into the game on good form.”
On Villa & Puyol being present for the final – “It’s a gift on their part and their mere presence will help us. They have contributed a lot to the success of the group and they are making this effort in the middle of their recuperation. For sure they will help us lift the players.”