POTCHEFSTROOM - Humility has
been one of the major reasons behind Spain's success at the
World Cup, the president of the country's football federation
(RFEF) Angel Maria Villar said on Friday.
In an interview with Reuters at the European champions'
training base, Villar added that luck was also a factor as well
as the talent of the players and coach.
He said beating Netherlands on Sunday in Spain's first
appearance in the final would cement their place in history.
"There are various key reasons why we are in the final of
the World Cup," noted Villar.
"Above all it is because we have great players, a great
coach and because these great players and great coach have come
to this tournament with great humility and we have worked with
all our strength in every match," he said.
"Also, and why not admit it, there is always that little
slice of luck that you need in any competition," added Villar, a
former player who is also a FIFA vice president and chairman of
the world governing body's referees' committee.
In the past, the Spanish have been seen as underachievers in
major tournaments but their triumph at Euro 2008 has proved a
springboard to stunning success on soccer's biggest stage.
Various theories were put forward for previous failures,
including too many outsized egos in the side and difficult
relations between players from regions with designs on greater
autonomy, such as Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Under avuncular coach Vicente del Bosque, the latest
generation, including strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres,
midfielders Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso and defenders
Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, have moulded themselves into a
harmonious unit where the emphasis is very much on teamwork.
The players have solid domestic roots and, in contrast to
some of their peers in other countries, are never caught up in
scandals plastered across newspaper front pages.
Villar declined to comment on the refereeing controversies
in South Africa, including the shot by England's Frank Lampard
that crossed the line against Germany and the Carlos Tevez goal
against Mexico when the Argentina forward was offside.
"I am head of the referees' committee and I don't make any
statements during a competition," he said.
Villar added he had no designs on the job of FIFA president
Sepp Blatter, who will seek re-election next year, and said he
would vote for the Swiss incumbent even if Spain and Portugal
fail in their joint bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.
"He (Blatter) has known how to make very important decisions
these past years," Villar said. "The most important, or one of
the most important, has been to bring the World Cup to South
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