Confidence boost

"The boss has already pointed it out so I'm not shy of admitting that we had a couple of moments of luck at the beginning of our 4-1 win over Russia in the first match," said the midfielder. "They hit the post, we scored right on half-time and that blow to their rhythm helped us impose our game. Now they're facing us again with massively more self-belief and confidence thanks to three wins but also the fact that they've been better than their opponents in each of their matches since. I'm sure that this semi will be totally different from the first match for these reasons and the key will not only be who has the better possession but how that team uses it."

If the prospect of winning a tournament has united fans across all of Spain, as Xavi observed, the squad are similarly united by a desire to take fate by the scruff of the neck. "Getting through the quarter- finals was joyful and historic, but not nearly enough. We have to take this opportunity now, get through the semi-final and then win the entire tournament. We've had that as our aim for months and we've believed in it. You can feel the momentum. Not only are we playing well but cleverly too, and we are getting the little breaks like Russia hitting the post and Iker [Casillas] saving two penalties. I know we have a winning mentality and if we are properly mentally prepared for beating Russia in Vienna then we'll achieve it." With four goals in qualifying and the winner against the United States in Spain's final warm-up friendly, not to mention another eight for FC Barcelona last term, history may not be in Xavi's hands, but his boots instead. Cometh the hour, cometh the Catalan?

Template by : kendhin