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Casillas wary of Spain´s Euro task

22 May 2012 04:28

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes that defending the European Championship will prove far more difficult than winning it.

Casillas said Spain no longer have the element of surprise on their side after winning the title for the first time four years ago.

While the Spanish were considered one of the strongest teams in the world going into Euro 2008, their propensity for underachievement led to doubts that they had the will power to win a major international trophy.

However, after their triumph in Switzerland and Austria, and subsequent success at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Spain now travel to Poland and Ukraine as the clear favourites at Euro 2012.

"The problem now is that we are not going to the Euros in the same way as we did four years ago," Casillas told reporters on Monday.

"We were known then, but we were able to gradually surprise people and went on to win the tournament. But now everyone in football knows about Spain."

However, Luis Aragones, the man who masterminded Spain's 2008 triumph, believes that Vicente del Bosque's troops can make history this summer.

"I was optimistic at the World Cup and I am again now," the 73-year-old coach said.

"They are trying to become the only team to win a third consecutive tournament and it will be tremendously difficult.

"But I think Del Bosque and the team are going to do well. We are favourites and I think we are going to retain it."

Spain are drawn with Italy, Republic of Ireland and Croatia at Euro 2012.

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