Xabi Alonso: Spain need a bit of luck to repeat success

The influential midfielder admitted that La Roja struggled against Croatia, and added that they need hard work and good fortune if they are to succeed in Poland-Ukraine
Xabi Alonso has stressed that it will be difficult for Spain to repeat their successes from the past four years at Euro 2012.

The title holders laboured to a 1-0 win over Croatia on Monday to book their ticket for the quarter-finals s as Group C winners, and the Real Madrid midfielder has insisted that La Roja need a combination of hard work and luck if they are to successfully defend their European Championship crown.

 Ben Hayward
 Spain Expert
Spain need to stay positive and if they play to their full potential, they will win Euro 2012. Luck is inevitably a factor in any major triumph, and Spain arguably did have some luck on Monday as two strong penalty appeals by Croatia were turned down before Navas’ late goal gave Del Bosque’s side the win. The Sevilla midfielder also looked marginally offside when Cesc played the pass through to Iniesta, who could also have been penalised for controlling the ball with his upper arm before squaring to the winger. More 'bad luck' like that and Spain will be just fine.
"If we want to repeat that [success], it'll definitely be another difficult task. We'll have to work hard, we'll need a bit of luck. This is how it is here, and let's hope we can combine those factors again," Alonso stated to reporters.

"In football now, all the teams are well-matched. We have achieved great things in the not-so-distant past, but we also struggled a lot, you cannot forget that.

"Clearly, the important thing was to advance as group winners. We knew it wasn't going to be easy because Croatia are a good team and had chances to go through as well."

Spain will meet the runners-up of Group D in the quarter-finals of the tournament, which will be played on Saturday June 23.