In a wide-ranging interview with uefa.com, Brazilian-born midfielder Marcos Senna expects big things from Villarreal CF in 2010 as they step up their UEFA Europa League and Liga campaigns and has also set his sights on winning the FIFA World Cup with Spain next summer.
uefa.com: After a difficult start this season Villarreal are beginning to find their feet with some positive results. How do you explain that indifferent beginning?
Senna: A change in coach played its part but we were also very unlucky with things not going our way in games. When a new coach takes over a period of adaptation is always needed. We've been improving and have been getting into a rhythm which we hope continues.
uefa.com: Have things changed a lot within the team since Ernesto Valverde took over from Manuel Pellegrini?
Senna: Certain things have changed. The system of play is not the same but that's normal as each trainer has his own style. Right now for example we're playing with more width. Having said that I don't think there have been massive changes compared to last term.
uefa.com: In the UEFA Europa League you had more difficulties than were envisaged in getting out of your group. Are you confident this team can go far in Europe?
Senna: Absolutely. We have the experience as well as an excellent squad filled with players of the highest quality. The team has started playing well and things are going well for us. What's more, our attackers are now in tune with each other.
uefa.com: Did you imagine when you arrived in Spain that one day you might feature in a FIFA World Cup for that country?
Senna: I could never have imagined it. Nobody can predict the twists and turns life brings and for me that was a radical change, but for the better. [Playing for Spain] has been a fantastic experience. I'm deeply grateful and very happy that fate has transpired to keep me here.
uefa.com: You are a very important piece in a Spanish international team that continues to beat records. What is the secret of La Roja's success?
Senna: There is a fantastic relationship between all the players. Nobody considers themselves superior to anyone else. We form a magnificent unit and we're all linked by the same objective. Even if we win [the World Cup] we're not going to stop. We want this success to last as long as possible.
uefa.com: How confident were Spain of winning UEFA EURO 2008™ prior to the tournament?
Senna: People in the team were sick and tired of being eliminated at the quarter-final stage of tournaments. We went to Austria and Switzerland convinced we could triumph. We were full of expectation and in the end things worked out well for us.
uefa.com: What are your best memories of the tournament?
Senna: All the memories are wonderful, from the first to the last. We started so well, with a big win over Russia and then maintained a very high standard throughout the competition. If I had to pick out one moment it would be the quarter-final against Italy which I found very emotional.
uefa.com: Have you imagined lifting the FIFA World Cup in South Africa next summer?
Senna: Yes of course. We must all have the expectation of winning in South Africa. We have to imagine what that would be like to make it possible.
uefa.com: Would you like to see a final between Spain and Brazil?
Senna: What I want is for Spain to be in the final and to win it. It would obviously be better if Brazil were eliminated earlier just as with all of the other big teams like Argentina, Italy, Germany and France. I say this as they are very strong sides who always make things difficult.
uefa.com: Now 33, can you go on enjoying the game for a long time to come?
Senna: I like to think so. Football is my passion, it's what I do best and I hope to continue playing for a lot longer. I also have it clear in my mind that when I physically can't match the level I expect of myself I will have to leave the game. There are two challenges I have yet to complete. The first is to win a title with Villarreal. This club has given me so much and I would like to repay that faith by doing my part in winning a trophy before I retire. The other, of course, is to win the World Cup with Spain next summer.
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