Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas admits that the unparalleled success of his national team in recent years has left him feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
Fabregas, who most recently won the Copa Del Rey with Barcelona after going without a single club trophy for six seasons with Arsenal, is on the verge of another major tournament win ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2012 final.
Last night, it was his penalty that proved to be decisive in Spain’s 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Portugal in the semifinals – just as it was against Italy in the Euro 2008 semis four years ago.
The former Gunner admits that he is now regretting his decision to not call his family members to Poland and Ukraine thus far in the tournament but he has confirmed that his loved ones will be in attendance on an emotional Sunday evening in Kiev.
“I thought about it going to penalties all evening and Toni Grande [Spain's assistant coach] told me I’d take the second one, but I told him I wanted to take the fifth. I had this feeling and then I got the opportunity and it’s fantastic,” Fabregas told UEFA.com.
The 25-year old continued: “[I felt] a lot of emotion, I remember a lot of people, my family who’ve not been able to come here. I regret now telling them not to come but they will come to the final.
“I feel so emotional, reaching three finals in four years. I do not know if anyone has ever done the same in history, but it is really extraordinary.”
Cesc’s teammate and Barca target Jordi Alba added: “Before the fifth penalty I told Cesc that he had the chance to do the same thing as four years ago. I was very nervous before the penalties and had both good and bad feelings, but in the end everything was fine.”
Indeed, Spain are on the verge of creating history, with only the winner of tonight’s Germany versus Italy match standing in their way when the calendar flips to July 1.
While skipper Iker Casillas remains humble and wary as his teammates stare the opportunity to claim unprecedented glory in the face, he is also proud of taking Spain to yet another final regardless of how it ends this time around.
“We’ll definitely remember this moment when we no longer get the luck and go through. We’re fighting to go on reaching finals as we’ve done today,” Casillas stated after presiding over an enviable record of only one goal conceded in the competition thus far.
“This team have come together through a lot of hard work and also the criticism we’ve had and what we want is to give people something to enjoy and from now until Sunday they will do. I don’t care who we play in the final – the important thing is that Spain are there,” the Real Madrid star concluded.