Spain players have shown they ‘have character’: Torres

June 23rd, 2008 - 9:32 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 23 (DPA) Spain striker Fernando Torres was proud of his side after they beat Italy Sunday night in the penalty shootout to qualify for the semifinals of Euro 2008. “We have shown that Spanish players have character and that we provide proof of it when we have to,” Torres said.

The Liverpool forward underlined the good relationship among members of the squad as a key to the triumph.

“A good atmosphere helps at times when you need to stand united and together to overcome the penalties, the extra times. We had those details that perhaps we have not had at other times and that some call luck, although I think they are something else,” Torres said.

He was at the centre of a controversy after Spain coach Luis Aragones substituted him halfway through Spain’s first game at the Euro against Russia. Torres was not happy with the decision, but both have insisted that they talked shortly afterward and put the disagreement behind them.

Striker David Villa gave details of the team’s celebrations.

“We have really enjoyed ourselves in that changing-room. We have got out all that rage we had inside us,” he said.

“But after the shower we have talked, and we have said that we have to keep calm, that it is only the semi-finals, that we have not done the work yet, that we are one game away from the final. It will be hard against Russia, but if we keep going like this, we will be in the final.”

Villa said that Aragones asked him to go first in the penalty shootout.

“It was a responsibility, but I was confident. I have been shooting penalties a long time,” he said. “We have many stains in (Spanish football) history to blame on these penalties, but today we deserved to win.”

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