Spain coach Luis Aragonés will not be extending his contract after UEFA EURO 2008™ and likened the prospect of doing so to out-of-date milk.
The 69-year-old came in for severe criticism early in the campaign when his side lost back-to-back qualifiers in Northern Ireland and Sweden, but a recent rally, culminating in Saturday's 3-0 win against Sweden at the Santiago Bernabéu, has propelled them to the finals. However, Aragonés insists he will sever his ties with the national team after UEFA EURO 2008™, regardless of the outcome, saying: "I'm like milk. Once it's gone past its expiry date, you can't drink it any more."
Goals from Joan Capdevila, Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Ramos earned Spain a third successive Group F victory, and midfielder David Albelda feels that momentum could augur well for the summer. "It'll be important to continue this run of results so we enter the finals with a lot of confidence," he said. "Although we have won games in the past, we have not really experienced the same high that we have felt after recent victories."
Spain's 3-1 success in Denmark last month, coupled with their weekend triumph, gives an indication of their capabilities. For all the vicissitudes of their qualifying campaign, Capdevila is optimistic about the future. "All we need is a little more belief in our ability and we could have a good tournament," he said. "But we don't want to get carried away and must remain calm. If we don't, we could end up disappointing people, which is something that has dogged us of late." Spain face Northern Ireland at home in their final qualifier on Wednesday.
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