Perfect finish for Spain and Javi Rodríguez
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Spain coach José Venancio López said "the challenge is to carry on winning" after securing a third straight European title while retiring captain Javi Rodríguez told uefa.com: "It has been like a dream for me."
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Spain coach José Venancio López said "the challenge is to carry on winning" after his side secured a third straight UEFA European Futsal Championship title with a 4-2 defeat of Portugal in Debrecen. Captain Javi Rodríguez, who like team-mates Daniel, Kike and Luis Amado now has four European titles, told uefa.com he was delighted to bow out with a victory and a fine back-heeled strike after 14 years, 159 games and 99 goals for Spain. Portugal's Orlando Duarte admitted that "Spain were better".
José Venancio López, Spain coach
I am delighted because we are European champions again. We have seen a spectacular match today, and I must congratulate the Portugal team as I believe futsal was the winner in this final. We maintained a very high standard during the tournament through constant hard work. We deserved this victory. We have very skilful players, and I'm very proud to be their coach. This team has something special and even though some players will retire, their spirit will always remain with us. We haven't lost a match [over 40 minutes] since December 2005 – that's another record for us. In the 51 matches I've been in charge [since 2007], we've won 46 and drawn five. Our challenge is to carry on winning.
Javi Rodríguez , Spain captain
I am thrilled because it has been a great way to end my Spain career. It has been a dream for me to be part of this team, but it is my decision to end my international career as I believe it is time to give other, younger players a chance. They now have two years to get ready for the next big tournament. I am delighted to have scored today, especially as it was a very nice goal – I knew I had [Portugal player] Israel behind me, I also knew he is not too quick to react, so I tried it and it worked. But most important was the victory and the fact we are European champions again. I am leaving the team now but I will never leave the friends I have made. I will stay in touch with them and I hope I have passed my experience on to the young ones.
Orlando Duarte, Portugal coach
The truth is, Spain were better than us. They did not commit the mistakes we did. We gave them the first and the third goals, We improved in the second half but Spain were simply better and we need to change something in Portuguese futsal. We keep making mistakes. However, we believe we have taken a step forward in this European Championship – the players reached a final for the first time and this kind of experience will be important in future competitions. We were fourth in 2007, now we are second. But it is important to play the best and win.