International

Azpilicueta sets Spain simple aim

There is a possibility for Spain to make it through to the last-16 stage at the Euros without a win in their final group game tonight against Slovakia, but Cesar Azpilicueta insists he and his international team-mates are thinking about nothing less than three points.

The Spaniards, the winners of this competition in 2008 and 2012, drew their first two matches of the current tournament but while a win later today in a game held in Seville will ensure they progress from Group E, and draw would be enough if Poland do not beat Sweden in the other game.

‘We always go out to win, to score the maximum number of goals and not to concede,’ stated Azpilicueta in the build-up to the decider.

‘It is not worth thinking about possibilities, only to focus on what is ours, which is to win the game.

‘We must be prepared for adversity. We are alive and we must value what we are doing well and be self-critical. The combination of both will be what makes us do well. It will be a life-or-death match and we have to be confident.’

The Chelsea captain has been an unused substitute so far but even if he does not play he brings vast experience and knowledge of success to any dressing room. While he says he wishes matters were simpler and Spain had already qualified, the tight situation will help younger players in the Spain squad to grow.

‘Of course we have a team, but we have to prove it,’ the 31-year-old adds.

‘When you come from two draws it is normal for the fans to feel that it is not what they expected, but we have to change this by being a team and being strong. In terms of attitude, effort and winning, the team has given everything. Perhaps that bit of luck has been lacking, especially in the first game.’
 

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