Spain 1 Netherlands 5: Iker Casillas apologises for the worst performance of his career

Spanish captain distraught after Salvador debacle

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The Independent Football

It was a result that shocked everyone, defending world champions Spain torn apart by the Netherlands in one of the greatest World Cup group games of all time.

In one match Spain conceded more goals than they had in their last two tournaments combined.

They may have lost the opening game of their victorious 2010 World Cup campaign, but this was different.

“The first thing I have to do is offer a mea culpa. This is the worst performance of my career," said captain Iker Casillas.

"We have to say sorry. Holland were very good, we were the complete opposite. Sometimes it’s good for things like this to happen so that you can react but we have to react now.”

David Silva missed a great first half chance

Sergio Ramos agreed with him: “We have to look at ourselves, starting with me. I should have played much better,” he said. “This is not a day to point the finger or blame any one in particular.

"It’s good to talk but today wasn’t really the time. We have days ahead to talk and train.

"We can’t allow ourselves to get infected by the negative energy. We must not blame anyone in particular. We’re still more than alive.”

Xavi added: “We all played badly and we have to be self-critical to improve.”

Perhaps fittingly only Fernando Torres appeared to be on a different wavelength to his teammates when asked if this was the saddest night of his career.

“No, not the saddest. No. I have been knocked out of the [2004] European Championship in the group phase with Spain and out of the [2006] World Cup at the last 16," he said.

"There is no excuse: they were better than us. That’s to their credit as well a result of our failings. This is just one game. And, unfortunately, we have the experience of having lost the opening game four years ago too.”


Spain will be looking for redemption and to stay in the tournament when they take on Chile on Wednesday.