Cesc Fabregas is hopeful of playing a key role for Spain at Euro 2012 as the team aims to successfully defend its European title.
The Barcelona midfielder spent that last few days of his country’s preparations recovering from injury, but has insisted that he is ready for a grueling tournament where he believes La Roja will have a target on their backs.
“I’m optimistic ahead of the Euros. Physically I’m good and mentally I’m strong. I hope to be important like I was in 2008,” Fabregas was quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo.
“We want to make history this summer and become the first team to win the Euro, World Cup, Euro treble.
“However, we realise that it won't be easy. Everyone wants to beat Spain because we’re the favorites.”
Meanwhile, the Spaniards yesterday began fine-tuning their bid to retain the European title as the last teams of the 16 teams in Euro 2012 arrived in Poland and Ukraine.
Vicente Del Bosque’s side were put through their paces at their secluded training camp in Gniewino, near the Baltic port city of Gdansk in northern Poland, cheered on by some 300 Polish fans and about 40 travelling Spanish supporters.
Spain have been drawn in Group C with Croatia, the Republic of Ireland and Italy and take on the Azzurri in Gdansk on Sunday, with UEFA president Michel Platini tipping La Roja to be among the title challengers come July 1. “The two teams for me are Spain and Germany — if they play at 100 percent.
But if they don’t, there are a lot of teams that can beat them,” Platini said.
Spain will be without Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and all-time record scorer David Villa but defender Javi Martinez said they were more than capable of making up for the duo’s absence. “It’s true that they are two very important players, integral to our wins in both Euro 2008 and the World Cup. But those selected can do as well as they did, why not better,” said the 23-year-old Athletic Bilbao star, who was also part of the World Cup-winning squad.