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Ortiz on Spain futsal heartbreak and ambitions

Two winters ago Ortiz watched from the sidelines, suspended, as Spain's nine-year UEFA Futsal EURO reign was ended by Russia but the captain thinks they can make amends in Belgrade.

Ortiz wants his fourth European title with Spain
Ortiz wants his fourth European title with Spain ©Sportsfile

Two winters ago Ortiz watched from the sidelines as Spain's nine-year reign as UEFA Futsal EURO holders was ended in an epic semi-final by Russia.

The defender was suspended for that game in Antwerp but Ortiz is back as captain for next month's finals in Belgrade. Having spoken to UEFA.com last week about Inter FS's UEFA Futsal Cup ambitions, the 32-year-old – part of Spain's winning squads in 2007, 2010 and 2012 – discusses their attempt to wrest back the national-team title in Serbia.

UEFA.com: How determined are Spain to reclaim the title?

Ortiz: Over the years things have gone well and we have been able to compete at a great level, but last time out we lost to Russia who had a great team. We want to make amends and show we are the best squad in Europe.

UEFA.com: What have you learned from the defeat by Russia?

Ortiz: We learned that if we don't play at our best level, any team can beat us. Maybe there was a slight lack of intensity. We had won several consecutive titles and maybe we relaxed a little. Our preparation for the tournament wasn't the best it could have been, either. Futsal in Europe is improving and if we want to carry on winning we have to carry on growing and cannot rest on past achievements.

UEFA.com You were suspended for that semi against Russia. How was it watching from the stands?

Ortiz: It was awful – I missed our most important game of those finals. I was alongside [injured] Jordi Torras and we had a bad time. From the outside you could see we were playing well and we could have won, but at the end of the day they played a great game and won. It's infuriating not being able to help the team at such important moments.

UEFA.com: How would you analyse the group you've been drawn into alongside Ukraine and Hungary?

Ortiz: It's a tough group. Futsal in Europe is growing at an enormous rate and today anyone can beat anyone else. I think we go in as favourites and we just have to play our game and not worry who we're up against.

UEFA.com: What does Carlos Ortiz want from 2016?

Ortiz: A lot! There's so many huge competitions ... If we're talking about the whole of 2016, the thing that most excites me is the [FIFA Futsal] World Cup [in Colombia in the autumn] – the only trophy I've never won. If we're talking about the 2015/16 season, I'd take the EURO and UEFA Futsal Cup with Inter.