Barcelona: Andres Iniesta said today that
Spain is determined to win more titles after its World Cup
success and that the team begins "from zero" next season.
The Barcelona midfielder's extra-time goal against the
Netherlands clinched a 1-0 win for Spain in Sunday's final.
Iniesta was speaking as he arrived in Barcelona after
celebrating with his teammates and thousands of fans in
Madrid, where the Spain squad met King Juan Carlos and Prime
Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Iniesta said winning the World Cup would not affect the
team in the future.
"We want to keep going in this way in terms of titles.
This title won't affect the performance of any player," he
Spain plays Mexico in a friendly on Aug 11 and begins its
campaign to qualify for the 2012 European Championship against
Liechtenstein on Sept 3.
On his now-famous winning goal from a Cesc Fabregas pass,
Iniesta said: "It was all very quick. At first I felt very
isolated and thought I must be offside.
"It was phenomenal how Cesc saw me, he passed to me very
fast and when I got the ball I knew it had to go in, because
going to penalties would have been terrible."
Iniesta said he would like to play alongside Fabregas at
club level next season.
The Catalan team wants to sign the Arsenal captain and
has already had one bid rejected. During yesterday's
celebrations in Madrid, Barcelona players Carles Puyol and
Gerard Pique forced a shirt over Fabregas's head as a joke.
"Everybody has come out and spoken of the desire we have
for him to be with us next season. We would be delighted. Not
just because he is a teammate and a friend, but because it
would be great for the club," Iniesta said.
"His arrival would give us a huge jump in quality and he
would play his part to help us stay up there competing in the
big competitions. We would love him to be here."
Iniesta acknowledged there are similarities between the
Spanish team and Barcelona, which was the most represented
team in the World Cup winning squad.
However, he underscored the importance of non-Barcelona
players in the team, such as Fernando Llorente of Athletic
Bilbao, who came on as a substitute during the 1-0 win against
"The day of the Portugal game, Llorente's coming on was
key to winning," Iniesta said.
First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 23:17