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Kike still hungry for Spain success

Published: Saturday 28 January 2012, 9.49CET
Kike helped Spain win the European futsal title in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010, and as he aims to do it again in Croatia, he said: "Victory is so wonderful, you always want to repeat the feeling."
by Santi Retortillo
Kike still hungry for Spain success
Kike has been a Spain stalwart for more than a decade ©Cassella/Divisione Calcio a 5
 

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Published: Saturday 28 January 2012, 9.49CET

Kike still hungry for Spain success

Kike helped Spain win the European futsal title in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010, and as he aims to do it again in Croatia, he said: "Victory is so wonderful, you always want to repeat the feeling."

Kike is one of only two players alongside goalkeeper Luis Amado to have featured in all four of Spain's UEFA Futsal EURO titles. They target a record fifth triumph when the 2012 finals begin in Croatia on Tuesday and the 33-year-old says the motivation to succeed is as great as ever.

UEFA.com: Spain's dominance of European football shows no signs of abating and only Brazil are considered serious rivals on the world stage. What is Spain's greatest strength?

Kike: Our confidence in each of us as individuals and as a group. The team has understood for some time that the group comes above everything else. Our collective strength is enormous and when you combine that with each player's individual talent it gives us every chance to win.

UEFA.com: What does it mean to take part in a UEFA Futsal EURO?

Kike: Everyone sees the EURO in a different light and for me, at 33, it will be very different from the 2001 tournament. I have a grounding in the tournament and different experiences, but you always hold the same high hopes and willingness to give everything.

UEFA.com: What was it like to lift the trophy for a fourth time in 2010?

Kike: A feeling of pride. It signifies a job well done, and done for your country. You have achieved your objective, and alongside a group of people you consider friends.

UEFA.com: Does starting a tournament as champions bring extra pressure?

Kike: There is always pressure when you are the team to beat and the champions but they are pressures Spain should be used to. You have to know how to live with it because it is part of our daily lives.

UEFA.com: Who are your biggest rivals for the title?

Kike: Russia always bring something to futsal. Portugal have grown a lot over the years and have some spectacular players. Then there are surprise sides like Azerbaijan. It will be interesting to see what Croatia, as hosts, will do and what level Italy will be at. The most important thing is for us to impose our game on the rest.

UEFA.com: You have won the FIFA Futsal World Cup twice, and the European title four times in a stellar career. What motivates you most now?

Kike: Winning motivates every sportsman, it's what we always work towards. Victory is so wonderful, you always want to repeat the feeling. We want to continue making history, continue to be the global reference point for our sport and we want to be European champions again. We must always aim for the top.

Last updated: 28/01/12 9.44CET

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