Spain confident about making it to Euro finals

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The dramatic 4-2 shootout win over Italy on Sunday reaffirms the strength of the Spanish football team in the European Championship.

23 June 2008

MADRID - The Spanish media on Monday delighted about a penalty shootout triumph over Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals - and expressed confidence that Luis Aragones' team can now go all the way to the final.

The dramatic win was front-page news in every Spanish newspaper.

Madrid daily ABC carried the headline "Spain and (goalkeeper Iker) Casillas Defeat History", referring to Spain's first win over Italy in a competitive game since the 1920 Olympics.

Casillas was the shootout hero, saving penalties from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale in the 4-2 shootout win in Vienna on Sunday night.

ABC, true to its monarchist traditions, said that the presence in Vienna of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia "lifted the morale of the Spanish team".

El Mundo chose the headline "Spain Breaks Its Jinks", alluding to the three penalty shootout defeats suffered by Spain in three previous matches on June 22: 1986 against Belgium (World Cup quarter-finals), 1996 against England (Euro 1996 quarter-finals) and 2002 against South Korea (World Cup quarter-finals).

Barcelona paper La Vanguardia talked about how the Catalan capital was "paralyzed" during the game, with "practically everybody" watching the tense quarter-final.

Almost 13 million Spaniards saw at least part of the game on television, a new record for the national team. Many fans followed the clash on giant open-air screens and partied well into the night after the shootout triumph.

There was a general agreement that Spain deserved to win.

Sports daily AS said that ""La Seleccion Overcame Italy in Everything", while Publico stated that Spain were "really superior to the world champions".

El Pais was confident about Spain beating Russia in Thursday's semi-finals, given that Aragones' young team made their debut two weeks ago with a 4-1 thrashing of Russia.

However Marca, Spain's best-selling paper, wisely pointed out that "we have still not won anything" and that "Russia are the most improved team" in the tournament."

[dpa / Expatica]

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