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.