KEIR RADNEDGE in KYIV: Spain’s history-making coach Vicente Del Bosque, after the 4-0 Euro demolition of Italy, hailed the remarkable generation of players contributing to perhaps the greatest era in the country’s footballing history. Del Bosque made history himself as the first coach to win Champions League, World Cup and now European Championship.
Your opinions of the final?
Everybody loses sometimes and I have to say that the Italians played a great tournament but they had the bad luck of the injury of Thiago Motta at an important moment and that’s where it all ended for them, unfortunately.
I think we played a great match: our players controlled the game right from the start. After we scored our first goal the Italians grew a little more dangerous but we reacted very well ourselves. We played well, we held possession, maintained depth and we are now very happy of course. This level of success for Spanish football is something historic.
Now we have to look ahead and think about qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014. Before that there is also the Confederations Cup in Brazil next year. We will be representing Europe so we want to do that well.
How do you feel about being a part of history?
We are talking about a great generation of footballers. They have their footballing roots and they know how to really play because they come from a country where they learn how to play properly: that’s because of the way we ‘feel’ sport in our country.
We also have some great lads who play their football abroad and that was important before because foreign clubs have never wanted our players in such numbers so that underlines how this is a great era for Spanish football.
Were you surprised at the four-goal margin?
We have played friendly matches which we have lost 4-so 0 this can happen to anyone and everyone. There is very little difference between the top national teams. What you saw in this match was just a team, in Italy, who had bad luck because Thiago Motta was injured. Then everythng turned in our favour.
Did you deliberately plan your tournament so as to save your best performance for the last game?
This has been a very intense tournament. You cannot plan anything like that. First we had to play against Italy then we won comfortably aganst Ireland and struggled against Croatia. We took some very important steps forward against France and Portugal but that cost us a lot of energy and strength – which is why you saw we needed all our three substitutes in this final. Italy had one less rest day and that was very hard for them
Have you changed football with the ‘false No9’?
There is not just one style of football. The important thing is to score goals and our players are very intelligent. Look ay the goal Jordi Alba scored. It was a great goal from a counte3r-attack after a pass from Xavi. It was really perfect. Arbeloa also knows how to attack and co-ordinate with Cesc and Iniesta. It’s a very balanced team. We do have strikers but we decided to rely first and foremost on the players who suited our style better
Have you talked with King Juan Carlos?
Yes, I have spoken with both the king and his son and they were very excited and will see us tomorrow in Madrid – they were as happy as all the Spanish people. This has been an extraordinary night for all of us.
= = = =