Euro 2008 final is the most important milestone: AragonesJune 27th, 2008 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS
Vienna, June 27 (DPA) Spain coach Luis Aragones stressed that this team’s place in the final of Euro 2008, secured with a 3-0 victory over Russia Thursday “is a most important milestone”, especially because of the free-passing manner in which it was achieved. “I have a huge happiness inside, for you, for all Spaniards, and above all for the players. Although I am not very extroverted I am really happy for them, because this group has done everything to be the champion,” the veteran Aragones stressed.
He noted that the semi-final game against Russia in Vienna was Spain’s “most complete game” in the tournament.
“We started the game playing the kind of football Russia likes with longer balls but when we started moving the ball around that is when we started doing well, both defensively and offensively,” said Aragones.
The Spain coach noted the importance of the moment in which Cesc Fabregas came on to replace the injured David Villa before the end of the first half.
“With (Fernando) Torres and Villa we had a little problem as far as dominating the midfield, but with Cesc we went on to have an extra man in that area, and since this is a team that plays the ball very well, it gets very difficult for the rival,” Aragones said.
“And once the first goal was in, well, Spain in counter-attack is spectacular. This group has played a brilliant Euro, and it can also play a brilliant World Cup,” Aragones warned.
As to the final against Germany on Sunday, Aragones insisted all bets were off.
“Favourites right now, between Germany and Spain, there are none. If Germany is a little bit more of a favourite it is because it is a little bit more used to reaching finals… Germans are Germans, and anyone who plays against them loses, (Gary) Lineker, whom I coached at Barca, used to say that,” Aragones recalled.
However, he was not pessimistic about his team’s chances.
“I don’t know whether Germany will allow us so much control of the ball. We will see if they will allow it, if they know where to put pressure on us and where to hurt us. But it is hard for our rivals, particularly when we put speed on the ball,” the coach said.
After noting that Germany will have the advantage of an extra day to recover from the semi-finals - they beat Turkey on Wednesday, Aragones stressed that he trusts his men.
“I have always said that any team and any coach worth the name has to think positively: to win, whatever the rival,” Aragones said. “The team has deserved to reach the final, now we will see if it manages to deserve winning it.”
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