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Spain 'outstanding', Slovenia improving

Spain's players and coach hailed an almost perfect display in beating Slovenia 4-0, tarnished only by Ortiz's semi-final ban, while their opponents are proud of their progress.

Spain 'outstanding', Slovenia improving
Spain 'outstanding', Slovenia improving ©UEFA.com

José Venancio López, Spain coach
I think we had an outstanding game. We did not make any mistakes in defence. Their heads dropped in the final moments because they saw that it was impossible to turn the game around. We kept up a very high pace for 40 minutes and they could not keep up with us. Slovenia are a great team, but they did not surprise us – we had studied them very well. We covered their tracks and continued to play at a high level. We were great in defence and we were smart in attack. When they had a flying goalkeeper, we defended very well.

Russia are the toughest opponents we could have [in Thursday's semi-final]. We are going to study them well and we will try to raise our game. If we play like today we have a chance. It is a shame that [injured] Torras and [suspended] Ortiz can not play. They are very important players for us, but this team will flourish in adversity.

Aicardo, Spain defender
We played very well today and competed brilliantly. We have learned to endure because they are a good side.

I did not hear until late in the game someone said that [Ortiz] couldn't play [against Russia]. But, hey, we all have to step forward and replace Jordi [Torras] and Ortiz. I'm ready for whatever the coach asks of me. He is the one who decides and if he wants me to play, I'll be there.

The match against Russia will be decided by small details. We have to be focused for 40 minutes and take advantage of set-pieces. They play great with the pivots, with Eder Lima and Cirilo. We must stop balls getting to them.

This team improves with every game. Every match we take a step forward and now the really good part is coming up. We are playing against Russia – an incredible team. Hopefully we will get to the final, but we must take it step by step and think about Russia first – it won't be easy.

Rafa, Spain goalkeeper
It was our best game yet, especially in defence. Our first half was great, maintaining very good pressure. Then we maintained this intensity and we got a good win. If we want to win, we have to play better against Russia. Along with us, Russia are the best team. It's like an early final. It will be a nice game to play.

Keeping a clean sheet is a source of pride for me. These games are very tough in defence and I always have to stop shots. If the defence is good, I am fine.

The draw against Croatia [3-3 on Wednesday] was good for us. If we do not play at 100%, anyone can beat us. Against Croatia, were not ourselves, and that meant we drew the match. But then we won 8-1 against the Czech Republic, putting on a good performance, and this time we were even better.

It's a shame about the second yellow card which means Ortiz is not allowed to play on Thursday. Russia have very good pivots and he wanted to play against them. The team will feel his absence, that's for sure. We all have to make up for the absence of the missing players.

Andrej Dobovičnik, Slovenia coach
Spain's victory was deserved – they were much better than us. We did our best, but we are short of options on the bench to get close to a team like Spain. However, we do have the will and the strength to do more to close that gap.

[On starting with Alen Mordej rather than Damir Puškar in goal] Going into the tournament we had two high-quality goalkeepers, but before the start of the finals they had slight injuries. I think we did the right thing to give both young goalkeepers the chance to experience a tournament like this.

Of course, this is one step forward – we are glad the team is improvement and each individual is getting better and better. As long as this goes on, there is nothing for Slovenian futsal to be afraid of.

Igor Osredkar, Slovenia captain
It was a very difficult game, Spain are the best team in the world – we tried our hardest, but today Spain were the better team and I congratulate them for their win. We are now out of the tournament but we have gained experience and we must be pleased that we were in the quarter-finals.

Just six or seven players tend to play so we are really tired. We have had three tough matches and Spain have a lot of players, ten or 12 – this is the difference between us and Spain. We rotate just six or seven players and Spain have a lot of experience. We are a young team and we have a lot to learn.

This was a big experience for us. This is the first [time we gained] points in the European championship and we have to be happy and proud. I am proud of my team – what we did in this tournament was great.