Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso insisted helping his team reach the semi-finals of Euro 2012 was more important than winning his 100th cap after scoring twice last night to knock out France.
The former Liverpool man played a big part in ensuring the defending champions overcame Les Bleus 2-0 with a first-half header and a late penalty in Donetsk.
Spain will now meet Portugal in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
“We’re through to the semi-finals, which was the main thing,” the Real Madrid player told uefa.com. “We’re pleased about that. The 100 caps is just an extra.
“It’s in these matches that we have to show what we’re about. We controlled it from start to finish. The team made things easy.
Composed: Alonso converts a penalty kick to double Spain’s lead (90th minute).
“I was happy about my 100th game and the goals. We know every game is difficult now but we’re in the semi-finals and we’re going to give it everything.
“We controlled the match, though we knew it wouldn’t be easy against opponents that were defending deep.
“It became easier after the goal. It was a big quarter-final game and you have to know how to play them.”
Blanc stands by France’s defensive tactics
France coach Laurent Blanc stood by his tactical choices during Saturday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final 2-0 loss to defending champions Spain. Blanc introduced a fresh tactical formula, with a five-man midfield deployed in a bid to stifle the reigning world and European champions. He added: “In my belief, they are better than us. But my regrets are about conceding in the first half. Even though they dominated the match, I think they feared us a bit, particularly in attack.”