Aragonés: I Am Delighted For The Players

Luis Aragonés admitted that he was delighted to reach the final of the European Championships for his players and for the country before thinking about himself.
The veteran coach was asked about his expression after he retained his straight face throughout the qualifiers and now after every game at Euro 2008 and claimed he had been inn the game long enough to keep his emotions inside.

Xavi, Dani Güiza and David Silva all scored to put Spain into their first major final since 1984 and Aragonés was pleased for the squad.

"After all this time I know how to celebrate and I am happy for my players first, then the fans and then for myself," he stated.

Aragonés admitted that he knew his side had not played that well in the opening half, but was pleased with their display after the break as they dismantled Russia.

"In the first period the team played well enough, but later we were able to achieve our aim of reaching the final," he continued.

"Now it is like tossing a coin and anyone can win because we are playing a very strong team in Germany."

David Villa came off just before the break against Russia after picking up a knock taking a free-kick and Aragonés believes he may not make the final.

"It is doubtful and at the moment I would say he will not play," he coach confirmed. "He is obviously upset about it.

"I put Cesc Fàbregas on to replace him because I knew that he could do a job up there and create things.

"When both [Fernando] Torres and Villa were on we had a little problem in dominating the midfield, but when Cesc came on we got control.

"We seem to be playing better with one striker than two, because we have more control and are able to exert more pressure in midfield.

"We started the game playing the sort of football that suited Russia, playing too many long balls up front.

"But once we started controlling possession, then I think it was our most complete game of the tournament and to do that in a semi-final is very difficult."

"The team has played for some time with this winning mentality. They learned a lot from the last World Cup. They know that it isn't just a question of playing well but also of learning how to compete.

"Cesc and others in the team have the experience of 28-year-olds even though they are only 21 or 22. This team could also have a sensational World Cup.

"I'm very happy even though I might not show it. I'm particularly delighted for the group because they have done everything to deserve to be champions, but we've still got one step more left.

"Germany are Germany and they seem to win against whoever they play...Let's see if they let us play, but it is very difficult for any team against us, especially when we add pace to our game.

"Physically Germany are stronger, but we play at such a pace that other sides end up getting more tired than us."

Lucas Brown,