Cesc Fàbregas, Fernando Torres and Sergio Ramos were not too downhearted in the wake of Spain’s opening Group C draw with Italy. Fàbregas praised the character showed by his team as they began their title defence while Torres noted that Spain were able to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup after dropping points in their first match.
Cesc Fàbregas, Spain forward
It was a difficult match. Of course, it was the hardest match we have in this group, against a strong opponent. I think a draw is not that bad after having gone a goal down, because it’s all up to us: with two victories we can still get first place. So well, we are happy. Being the favourites is sometimes difficult. We know that when we’re playing well we can be a great team, and despite today’s result, I think we showed a strong character, and we played well.
I was more surprised than anyone [to be chosen to play up front], but I am happy to have had the chance – happy to be able to play. I hadn’t played for almost a month and a half. So to find myself scoring a goal again is very nice, because I was kind of stuck at the end of the season. Had we practised playing without a main striker? No, no. Besides, we – the Barça and Bilbao players – came to the camp very late.
Fernando Torres, Spain forward
We expected to win the match, but a draw was always a possibility against Italy. It was a fair result. Italy had plenty of chances to score, and so did we. In the end we scored one goal each. We have to win the next two matches. That is what is in our minds.
It is important to start by winning, but at the World Cup we started with a defeat, and still managed to win the competition. But it is much more difficult when you start like that. We’ve started this tournament with a draw, which is not what we hoped for.
[Gianluigi] Buffon had a great match, and maybe he earned them two points. Italy had a spectacular first half, and then they got a little bit tired. We are going to expect the same standard of performance from Ireland and Croatia. So we are going to have faith in ourselves, knowing that it is not normal for Spain to score just once in a game.
Sergio Ramos, Spain defender
It is always difficult to play against a team like Italy. Not winning is not maybe not what we wanted, but you have to consider the team we’re playing. Obviously, the pitch did not benefit us much, given the way we like to play. Congratulations also to our opponents for the work they did, especially Gianluigi Buffon, who managed to win some one on ones against our players. He made the difference and that’s why he is there.
The way we responded after their goal was very important. You have to know how to react after conceding a goal, and I think we did a good job here, not dawdling, not complaining, but getting ourselves back into the match again. We scored within a few minutes of going behind, and we would have liked to score a second, but it in the end it was not possible.