Sergio Ramos declared he was not going to spend another second beating himself up about Spain's 5-1 World Cup defeat to the Netherlands but, like Dutch strikers the night before, the questions kept on coming. Meeting a subdued national media on Saturday (June 14) after the champions' worst World Cup defeat in 60 years was never going to be comfortable but the experienced defender faced the music manfully

 

 

"Of course it marks your life, it marks your professional record and clearly it was one of the worst matches in my professional career," he said, sitting alongside fellow defender Jordi Alba. "But nor am I going to spend another second thinking about this match, there's no time for regrets. A 5-1 result in a World Cup would affect any player."

"It was not the best start for us at the World Cup. We are all hurting now. But we are full of enthusiasm, motivation and hunger for the next match. We need to prepare really well and think that a World Cup is very complicated to win. Spain can do it. We need to believe that."

Spanish newspapers greeted the defeat with 'humiliation' and 'nightmare' writ large across their front pages but the mood in the media room at the Atletico Paranaense training ground outside Curitiba was as mild as the weather outside. The Spanish flag billowed under overcast skies, with a training session scheduled for the late afternoon when conditions were cooler. Maybe, some suggested, that was the problem with Spain training in the more temperate south for a match in the heat of Salvador.

The Dutch have based themselves in steamier Rio de Janeiro. Alba, whose side play Chile next on Wednesday, refused to make any excuses or seek them.

"We don't have any excuses about temperatures, whether it is hot or cold," he said. "Personally, I'd prefer to be here in Curitiba because it is comfortable. If we'd have won yesterday we wouldn't be talking about where we were training, about where we are. We don't have any excuses. When we step on to the pitch we need to play with heart and soul and win the game."

Spain, he said, remained fully motivated and determined to reward the army of fans who chanted their support as they boarded their late night flight from Salvador with cries of 'Yes we can'. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who shouldered much of the blame for the defeat after Spain had scored the opening goal, was bearing up well. "I saw Iker (Casillas) after the match and he was feeling bad, not surprisingly," said Ramos. "It was the same for the rest of the team. But also I saw how motivated he is and how convinced he is that we can put this behind us. We have to look ahead. We can't feel too sorry for ourselves."

 

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"Defiant Spain Players Vow to Fight Back After Dutch Humiliation "