AROUND THE NET, FIFA NEWS, OLYMPICS — July 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

Isco: Spain intend to win



Malaga playmaker Isco believes Spain have more than enough quality to be able to compete for a medal at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Luis Milla’s 18-man squad contains three players from the senior side which won the UEFA EURO 2012 last month and a further nine that won the EUROs at Under-21 level last year. However, the side was beaten by Senegal 2-0 in their first warm-up game in Gran Canaria on Friday.

Isco is hoping that result sounded a warning that Spain‘s youngsters will have to be at their best if they are to replicate the senior side’s success.

“Looking at the group we have, with big name players, we can see serious options of a medal, but we need to show this on the field where we will face very difficult opponents,” Isco told Marca. “We are going with the intention to win and to continue getting better. We will try to be at our best and we hope to achieve it.

“What the senior team is doing is something huge and historic. This makes the opponent even more motivated to beat us and make it difficult, but I hope we do things well and maintain our philosophy of play to go as far in the tournament as possible.”

Looking at the group we have, with big name players, we can see serious options of a medal, but we need to show this on the field.

Spain midfielder Isco


Jordi Alba is one of those who played in Poland and Ukraine and has finally been given the all-clear to travel to the

FIFA July 14, 2012

Olympics despite Barcelona’s protest at his participation. And, while he can sympathise with Barça’s complaint, Isco says that the chance to play in an Olympic Games is too good for players to turn down.

He said: “Jordi [Alba] is a very important player for us. He has been a revelation at the EUROs and I understand Barcelona’s concerns about tiredness, but we want him here. I would have done everything possible to participate in the Games, it is something that only happens once in your life. It is something incredible to participate in a competition of this magnitude with your national team, it is a showcase for any player.”

The 20-year-old is also expected to play a bigger role now that Barcelona team-mate Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out through injury. However, the former Valencia man is just hoping to get enough time on the field to showcase his abilities to the world.

He said: “Here there are no substitutes. Thiago [Alcantara] is a great player, a big absence, but with the squad we have here we can go great things. I am a player that likes to have responsibility and I hope the coach believes in me and I can play many minutes.”

Spain begin their Olympic campaign against Japan on 26 July in Glasgow before moving on to face Honduras and Morocco in the group stage of the competition.

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