Saturday 24 March 2018

No easing off now we are champions, pledges Cesc Fabregas

Getty Images
Getty Images

Simon Stone

CESC Fabregas insists there is no chance of Spain easing off now they are record breakers.

The former Arsenal star was most pointed in the rejection of Spain being a boring side immediately after their four-goal Euro 2012 hammering of Italy in Kiev on Sunday night.

It certainly seems harsh to pick holes in a team that has just become the first to win three major international tournaments on the trot, including the World Cup.

And the manner of their performance in the Olympic Stadium, and the players responsible for it, does not offer much hope of any change.

Midfielder Xavi is the elder statesman of the outfield contingent. And, at 32, he still has plenty of miles in the tank.

Skipper Iker Casillas is 31 but in an era when goalkeepers often play at the highest level until they are approaching 40, that is hardly a problem either.

So, if a weakness is to be exploited by the teams eager to nick the World Cup from Spain's grasp at Brazil 2014, it may be mental, as players who have won everything try to keep themselves motivated.

But Fabregas has got some bad news for Spain's rivals. La Roja are not finished yet.

"Everyone thought we would be finished after we won the Euros and the World Cup," said Fabregas.

"They thought we might ease off a bit but here we are again.

"No-one has done the triple before and we are very proud of it.

"We are lucky to have had a lot of good experiences at a young age.

"Hopefully that and the success we are having now mean we will be stronger for those experiences when we're older."

Fabregas made a significant contribution to Spain's success, just not in the way he would have imagined.

An orthodox midfield player at Arsenal, in Poland and Ukraine coach Vicente Del Bosque discovered a new role for the 25-year-old.

In a team without a striker, Fabregas was the one asked to become a 'false nine'.

"It's the first tournament in my life that I have played as a striker," the Barcelona man said.

"It was difficult at the beginning but I got used to it very well and I am really proud of this."

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