Euro 2012 - Casillas: Torres will come good

Fri, 30 Mar 16:30:00 2012

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who thinks Fernando Torres will come good for the national team if he continues to create and score goals for Chelsea.

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What are your views on Fernando Torres's situation?

Regarding the problem of Fernando with the national team, I’ve always said that people don't remember the past. He is a player who needs more confidence. Fernando has proved a lot with the Spanish national team, he gets his confidence from the goals he scores. There are two months left of the season and he can still score a lot of goals, and we hope he does. The problem for him is that we don't have just one or two great forwards - we have a lot of good forwards with different qualities. If you are coach you have to make choice. The coach knows that David Villa is injured and he is waiting for his comeback as well. As the coach said, he trusts in people that give him trust back and Fernando has always given him trust.

What can your Real Madrid team-mates bring to the national team?

In this group Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos are all sure to be present; Esteban Granero and Jose Callejon could also be selected but, for me, the important thing is to cooperate and work well with the players from other teams.

If the final is Spain vs Germany, who is the strongest?

I think that, with every new competition, national teams get stronger as younger players come through and develop further. The German squad is very strong, and very young: during the World Cup they had young players who earned a lot of experience for the future. It is the same for the Netherlands. I think that all the teams that Spain will face will be better than the past. During the group phase we have to play against Italy, who are still competitive. However, Spain have to beat every team they play if they are to win - whether Italy, Croatia, Ireland, whoever we face in the next round right to the final.

Do the good results of Real and Barcelona give Spain confidence?

It gives us combination of confidence, and pride for the supporters, who in turn help us. However we have to stay careful and start the tournament from zero – we have to play this competition as if we never won the Euros. We have to return to the mentality of this being our first one.

Does the rivalry between Real and Barca create tension in the national team?

No. My experience in the national team tells me that, when you are with the Spain squad, things are over. We prepare ourselves for Spain games as if we are preparing ourselves for the Clasico. Actually, we are all friends in the national team, we can drink a Coca-Cola together and forget about the club rivalry. We focus on Spain, and like I said being friends makes it easier. The moment you turn up for Spain, all you care about is Spain.

Who will be your main opponent in the group stages at the Euros?

I always say that each game is very important. A lot of people are talking about Italy, and a lot of people are talking about the possible opponent in the next round, but that is premature. Also, we can't say that the match against Italy will be the most important, because they are all important. Against Croatia you can be sure that their coach have a plan about how to beat Spain. It will be the same for Ireland. The possible rivals that we could face in the quarter final will do the same, and so on in the semi finals. We have to think that every game of the Euros is important. Whoever faces Spain could win the match, it won't be like four years ago. Four years ago Spain won the Euros and people didn't see us as favourites; we got the role of favourites during the tournament, not before.

Do you think this will be your last European Championships or can you carry on for four more years?

Yes I would like to. Of course it will depend on the coach, whether it is Vicente (del Bosque) or another, as they may prefer another man in goal. In football I think the keeper can go on for a long time though, but for now I will not ask that question. I would say that another Euros is possible, but two more could be difficult!

Do people expect a lot from Spain because of Real and Barcelona’s dominance of football?

We are expected to do well, of course. We were expected to win the World Cup in South Africa and we managed to achieve that purpose. When your club is not achieving what is expected, it does become harder for you. You can be certain that, if we fail to get through the group stage, the World Cup and Euro 2008 wins will be forgotten. People always want more – but for the players and coach the objective will simply be to go as far as possible.


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