Two of the linchpins of a Spanish side that secured a semi-final place at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship with a game to spare, tireless midfielder Nagore Calderón and classy attacker Alexia Putellas exuded confidence when speaking to UEFA.com.
UEFA.com: What do you know about this Portuguese team?
Nagore Calderón: So far all we know is what we saw for ourselves in [a 1-0 defeat by Denmark] but we got an idea of what their strengths are. They've got some quick, decisive attacking players and a very solid, hard-working midfield, though we thought we saw some weaknesses at the back which we'll try to exploit.
UEFA.com: Can Spain go all the way in Antalya?
Alexia Putellas: Yes, at least we all hope so! It won't be for lack of trying. We're all really pleased that our semi-final is going to be televised back home. We just hope everyone enjoys our football and if we can come away with the trophy that would be the icing on the cake.
UEFA.com: Alexia, you captained the side against England. How do you handle the responsibility?
Putellas: It's not something that weighs you down, quite the opposite in fact. There are times when you might feel tired, but wearing the armband gives you the boost you need to dig deep and really pull through.
UEFA.com: Is there any particular player you've based your style of play on?
Calderón: Since I was little I've always followed Zinédine Zidane very closely, but right now my biggest idol is Andrés Iniesta. That's because he's really down-to-earth, he never stops working, he always puts the team first and on top of that he has the quality to always make a difference.
UEFA.com: How did you get started in football?
Putellas: I started out playing at school and later signed up for Sabadell, then spent a year at Barcelona and a further five years at Espanyol. Then I went to Levante and this year I'm going back to Barça, so I've certainly moved around a bit.
UEFA.com: Finally, what would you say to those girls wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Calderón: They should never give up. They must not think that because it's football and they're girls that they can't play. They should join teams if they can, try to really enjoy it and later on if they want to go far they should treat it seriously, because if they work hard enough the rewards will come.
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