| London: Midfielder Juan Mata has said Spain isn’t a favourite to win the Gold Medal at the London Olympics despite winning the last three major football tournaments.
Spain won the Euro Cup 2012, the World Cup 2010 and the Euro Cup 2008 with complete domination, and Mata doesn’t believe this achievement makes them favourite for the Olympic gold.
Mata heads to the London Games having already tasted success in three competitions this year, winning the Champions League and FA Cup with Chelsea before helping Spain retain their European Championship title earlier this month.
Luis Milla``s squad, which counts on the likes of Jordi Alba, Javi Martinez, David De Gea and Iker Muniain, are highly fancied to do well in London, but Mata is refusing to get carried away.
“It seems that we must win the gold without even playing first, and that``s not the case. There are other very strong teams, who have squads that can challenge for the title,” The Daily Mirror quoted Mata, as saying.
“We have to be isolated from these expectations about winning. We want to do as well as possible, but we know that it will be difficult,” he added.
“Spain has won in recent years because behind the success there is sacrifice and a lot of hard work, and this is a good path to follow. Personally I``ve had a fantastic season, and if we win, it would be a perfect summer and a first season in England in which I couldn``t have asked for more,” he said.
First Published: Monday, July 16, 2012, 21:40