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Finalists Spain keep on getting better

Published: Friday 10 February 2012, 1.32CET
Spain's new generation go "from strength to strength", said Rafael Usín, after the 1-0 semi-final defeat of Italy, whose coach Roberto Menichelli was proud to be "on a par" with the holders.
by Gonzalo Aguado, Paul Saffer & Francesco Corda
from Arena Zagreb
Finalists Spain keep on getting better
Goalscorer Aicardo celebrates with Spain's fans ©Action Images
 

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Published: Friday 10 February 2012, 1.32CET

Finalists Spain keep on getting better

Spain's new generation go "from strength to strength", said Rafael Usín, after the 1-0 semi-final defeat of Italy, whose coach Roberto Menichelli was proud to be "on a par" with the holders.

José Venancio López, Spain coach
I am very happy, obviously because we won, but also because we have seen a futsal game between two teams who wanted to play and tried to win from the first minute. So I would like to congratulate Italy, who made it a great game. In the first half they were superior in phases of the game, but in the second half we were much better.

We know that we are going from strength to strength. Today we put to bed any talk about generational change
Rafael Usín
Anyone who watched the game could see that Italy were on a par with Spain
Robert Menichelli

Our superiority was because of the personality we showed in the second half. On a tactical level it is difficult to be much better than Italy. We tried to cut out the passes to their pivots. The second half we played very simply, with very quick transitions that did not allow them time to position themselves in defence. We were just lacking a goal. We had four or five chances to kill the game. We also defended well, we were very focused, but it is true that Italy were very good.

We defended well and when they had a flying goalkeeper we barely allowed them a shot on goal. I am delighted because the players did exactly what we trained for before the match.

Rafael Usín, Spain pivot
The important thing was to reach the final. Overall we were very good, we played good futsal and we created many chances. Yes, we were not very successful in front of goal, but you have to look at it positively. They made life difficult in the dying minutes with the flying goalkeeper, but we defended well.

We know that we are going from strength to strength. Today we put to bed any talk about generational change. Everyone thought it would be difficult for us to reach the final because many players have gone. But Spain are still proving we have great players and on Saturday we will play our fourth consecutive final.

We have a reputation we have earned in recent years and it is a great responsibility for any players who come into the national team. We must be very careful against Russia, but if we are good we should not worry about our opponents.

Torras, Spain winger
We came to win the championship and we are in the final. Although we had to go through the mill a bit, I think the margin of victory was a bit low given we had many chances. I hope that on Saturday we will be more successful in front of goal.

We know Russia very well. They have two very good quintets, one that plays with power up front and one that moves the ball very well. They are always in the final or semi-finals. They are a team that always wants to dominate, like us, so I think it will be a great game.

Robert Menichelli, Italy coach
The players are disappointed because we didn't win, but they did their best, they gave everything they had and we know we did all we could to win. Unfortunately in futsal you win or you lose but what remains is a great Italian performance. Anyone who watched the game could see that Italy were on a par with Spain.

We conceded a goal on a kick-in but for 75% of the match the score remained the same. Of course Spain created chances but it remained an open match until the end. I don't think there was such a great difference between us and Spain, the result suggests this. I want to congratulate Spain, the best team in Europe, but we did well and this is the most important thing.

Saad Assis, Italy winger
There was nothing we could improve, we played to their level. We were unlucky not to score, but now we know we can beat them. We didn't make mistakes, we were focused because we knew the game would be difficult. I spoke to my Barcelona team-mates at the end of match, that is normal since we all play for the same club. They told me this is futsal, somebody has to win – tonight it was them.

Last updated: 10/02/12 14.41CET

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