'I wanted life to give me this opportunity' - Fabregas elected to take crucial penalty

The midfielder revealed that he wanted to score the decisive fifth spot-kick on Wednesday night, and that he used a familiar technique to get La Roja to the showpiece in Kiev
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has revealed that he wanted to take the crucial penalty against Portugal so he could send Spain through to Sunday's Euro 2012 final.

A goalless 120 minutes against the Seleccao in the last-four clash was followed by a tense shoot-out, and Bruno Alves' miss allowed the former Arsenal captain to stroke home the winning spot-kick.

And the 25-year-old stated that he always felt the tie would be decided on penalties, and that he replicated the technique he used when scoring against Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-final shoot-out.

"The truth is that this [method] has worked a lot, and I had a feeling that [Wednesday] evening's game would go to penalties," he told a press conference.

"I was given the second penalty, but I asked to be fifth. I wanted life to give me this opportunity. I told the ball not to let me down.

"I'm very excited to reach another final in four years, it's a real feat of history."

Spain were widely criticised for their performance against France in the quarter-final, and Fabregas went on to say that his team put in a much-improved performance against their Iberian neighbours.

"The other day we were not good, and now we're winning the supporters back. We have to repeat history. We have become much better; we controlled the game in extra time."

Spain will discover their opponents for the final after Thursday's match between Germany and Italy.