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Russia – Spain

Furia has the best goalkeeper of Euro, Iker Casillas, so they haven’t practiced penalties for semi-finals, but they have practiced free kicks, counting on uncertain Akinfeev. Before the quarter-final against Italy, the Spaniards relyed on pullin down the tradition – it’s been 24 years since the last time they played in semi-finals and for years 22nd June was a black day. Today, they hope for keeping one tradition – Furia has never lost in semi-finals on Euro. They played them twice – 1964 they beat Hungary and 1984 Denmark.


The game of nervs

The game of nervs between the oldest selestor at Euro Luis Aragones and hit-coach Guus Hiddink started only a day after Spanish victory over Italy. Casillas and company wanted to be placed in Vienna NH Danube hotel, which was ‘lucky’ to them before the match with Italy. Besides, it’s part of great Spanidh chain of hotels. But, Russians were faster and Furia had to go to Hilton.

Euphoria at the Pyrenees is larger than ever. Marca had on it’s pages advertised interesting petition: “I, eternal fan, promise to Marca, fans and members of national team that I will shave my Spanish head till the last fell if our team wins the title of European champion 2008”.


Hiddink settles down

So, Madrid could after Sunday grow bald. On the last training session before the trip to Vienna, the record number of fans has gathered. Aragones was practising the same squad which faced Italy. Questionable is apeearance of Senna who is dragging an injury. Midfielder of Villarreal fairly said: “If I’m 100 per cent fit and fresh for Thursday then I want to play. If not, then let someone else take my place because we are here only for the good of the team and the country.”

That way, from the first minute could play Xabi Alonso or Cesc Fabregas whose wish to be in the first squad would than be fullfilled. Atmosphere among the Spaniards is victorious although they know it will be a lot harderthan inthe first match with Russians when they won easily 4:1.

“Russians can’t again play as good as they played against Holland”, thinks Xabi Alonso.

Guus Hiddink tries to settle donw the euphoria of Russians before the semi-finals: “If we will play like we played in first match against Spain, we can congratulate them immidiately. Our team is not experienced and it is questionable for how long we can lay at the highest level. And when will that experience overtake us.”


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