Casillas: Blame me for Netherlands thrashing

The Spain shot-stopper admits he was well below par as Louis van Gaal's side crushed the world champion 5-1 on Friday.
Iker Casillas believes he must shoulder much of the blame for Spain's humbling 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands.

Louis van Gaal's side recovered from falling behind to a first-half Xabi Alonso penalty, with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie both scoring twice and Stefan De Vrij adding another to avenge the 1-0 defeat the Dutch suffered in the final of the 2010 World Cup.

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Casillas, whose heavy touch allowed van Persie to nip in and score the Oranje's fourth goal on the night after he had earlier missed the cross for De Vrij's tap in, acknowledged that he was below the standard expected of him and apologized to the Spain supporters.

"It's time to be quiet, to reflect and think about the next match against Chile as a final," the 33-year-old was quoted as saying by Marca. "We apologize, and I am the first in line. Our fans must give out the criticism that comes to us and forget what happened soon. I have not been up to par and I accept that. We have not been fortunate, starting with me. Now only we think about the next game.

"I have to take the blame. All we could do is think about the next game when they scored the third goal and went further behind. I am mature enough to receive all criticism. We must sort ourselves out." 

La Roja boss Vicente Del Bosque, however, insisted that no one player should shoulder the burden of responsibility for the loss, especially not their goalkeeper.

"When a team loses a match it's not just the performance of one single player, its a weakness in the total squad," the 63-year-old said. "We can't blame anyone, least of all Iker Casillas."

Spain, which sits bottom of Group B after the first round of games, faces Chile on June 18.