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Monday 18 December 2017

Casillas targeting further glory

SPAIN captain Iker Casillas insists the team are united in their desire to reach as many finals as possible.

The reigning champions will face Italy in the Euro 2012 showpiece on Sunday after squeezing past Portugal on penalties.

Spain's style of retaining possession at all costs has been labelled boring by some critics, but Casillas is just happy to be in the position to win a third successive major tournament.

"We're fighting to go on reaching finals as we've done now," said the Real Madrid goalkeeper (pictured).

"This team have come together through a lot of hard work and faced criticism.

"What we want is to give people something to enjoy and from now until Sunday they will do.

"I don't care who we play in the final -- the important thing is that Spain are there."

Cesc Fabregas rifled home the match-winning penalty in Wednesday night's shootout to nudge the World Cup holders into the final in Kiev.



lottery

However, Casillas admits penalties are a lottery and knows that Spain's luck will run out at some point.

"After starting by missing that penalty it was important to equalise, and we made it," he said.

"In the end we were lucky because penalty shootouts are actually about luck. We were rewarded after 120 minutes of suffering.

"A month ago I tasted the bitter side of a shootout, but now I'm happy to experience the other side.

"It's about guessing where the ball will go, if not much more.

"We'll definitely remember this moment when we no longer get the luck and go through."

It was a heartbreaking end to Euro 2012 for Portugal, and no one felt their pain more than skipper Cristiano Ronaldo.



rescue

Assigned to take the final penalty, he was denied his chance to perform a rescue act as Spain had already won 4-2 after the fourth spot-kick.

Ronaldo, who was at his dazzling best against Holland and the Czech Republic, insists Portugal should feel satisfied with their performance at Euro 2012.

"My feeling is sadness. Clearly to lose a semi-final on penalties is always hurtful, but penalties are a lottery and the one with most luck is the one who wins," he said.

"It was a very successful European Championship for Portugal.

"We did well, we were among the best four teams at the tournament and we didn't win because we didn't have luck, but penalties are like that.

"We have to be proud, but the truth is that we are a bit frustrated because we knew that we could reach the final.

"I did my best as I always do, so I'm satisfied with what I have done for the team.

"We have to be proud because we did what we had to do. We played well and we deserved to be in the final."

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