Andres Iniesta: 'Our victory is unique, magical... people can't ignore how great it is' - International - Football - The Independent

Andres Iniesta: 'Our victory is unique, magical... people can't ignore how great it is'

 

Spain's Andres Iniesta last night described his team's victory in the Euro 2012 final, the first time a team has ever retained the trophy, as a "magical" achievement that may never be repeated.

Their 4-0 victory over an Italy team reduced to 10 men for much of the second half after an injury to substitute Thiago Motta left Cesare Prandelli with no options to replace him, was the third time Spain have won the European Championship in their history. It was also the first time any country has won three successive major tournaments, a run that includes their 2010 World Cup finals triumph.

Answering the criticism from some quarters that Spain's style of play is boring and predictable Iniesta said that the team's way of playing would not chance for public opinion.

He said: "Everybody has their point of view, their opinion. We are not here to say that our game is the most beautiful of them all. Everyone has a different opinion. [Against Italy], we had a great level of play and we were faithful to our style. Of course, it would have been different had they not been playing with 10. That made things easier for us. Now we want to enjoy the victory. It's unique. It's magical. Something that cannot be repeated. People can't ignore how great this is."

Cesc Fabregas told BBC Five Live that he believed Spain's victory had ended the debate about their style. "I think so,' Fabregas said. 'Those people who think we are playing boring...in my opinion they don't understand the game.

"This feels really amazing, one of the best days of my life. I don't think we're ready to see what we have done yet. Three major trophies in a row has never been done before in the history of football.

"It's difficult to realise what we have done, but in time I think we will, It is amazing."

The Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who was also in charge for Spain's World Cup triumph two years ago, said that his country had been blessed with "a great generation of footballers."

He said: "They have roots, they know how to play because they come from a country where they learn to play, and this is the feeling of sport in our country. In football, we have done a great job. We have great lads who play abroad, and that was impossible before. Before, we didn't really have players playing abroad. Now foreign clubs want our players. So this is a great era for Spanish football."

Spain ended the tournament conceding just one goal, Antonio Di Natale's goal for Italy in the first group game. They have still not conceded a goal in the knock-out stages of a tournament in 990 minutes, dating back to the quarter-finals of Euro 2008. Last night there goals came from David Silva and Jordi Alba in the first half and then substitutes Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in the last six minutes.

Del Bosque said that the Italians had been undone by the injury to Motta. "I would like to say that everybody loses sometimes," he said. "The Italians have played a great tournament and they had the bad luck of the injury to Thiago Motta. That's where it all ended for them, unfortunately. But their reaction was great.

"This match was great for our players. They controlled the game. After we scored the first goal, the Italians were a little more dangerous but we reacted very well. We played well. We had ball possession, the pressure, the depth, so we're very happy. This success for Spanish football is something historic now. Now we have to look to the future. We are going to try and qualify for Brazil [in 2014].'"

Were Spain to retain the World Cup in two years' time they would establish another precedent – no European side have ever won a World Cup staged in South America. Last night, Cesare Prandelli, the Italy coach, would not confirm that he will remain in charge of Italy for their World Cup qualifying campaign.

"In terms of my future, there were times when I wasn't entirely sure but I've never had any problems with the Italian Football Federation. This project needs to continue. The country need to keep going with it, because this team must grow.

"Spain really have made history, and deservedly so. They've been playing terrific football for a number of years now, and they've got players who are tried and tested at this level. In spite of the fact they don't play with a traditional striker, they still cause a hell of a lot of problems."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week