David Villa’s efforts in Spain’s perfect Group I campaign for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers earned him as well as his country praise from their opponents in yesterday’s game, Scotland.
Spain have 24 points from 8 games placing them as the undisputed leaders of Group I in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers. On Tuesday, they defeated Scotland 3-1 with 2 goals from Manchester City’s David Silva. He also provided an assist to David Villa, who now has scored 50 goals in 80 games for the Spain national team.
Speaking with UEFA.com, Spain forward Fernando Llorente praised Villa: “It is incredible David has scored 50 international goals and I think that’s a national record which will be very hard to overtake.” The Bilbao player also added: “David is one of the all-time greats and it’s clear that even after this historic goal he will continue scoring more for Spain for a long, long time.”
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher was disappointed with his team’s loss and Czech Republic’s victory which meant that Scotland did not qualify for the Euro. However, he had words of praise for the performance of Spain and David Villa. “Villa’s goal tally marks him out as one of the best strikers in the world,” the Manchester United FC midfielder said. “At club level maybe Messi takes the shine off his reputation but that’s expected. If you look at Villa’s record for club and especially for country, I don’t think anyone can touch him. When his international career is finished he will be up there with the best ever records. Look at his finish tonight, it is a world-class piece of work – first time, hard, low into the corner.”
About his side’s performance against World Champions Spain, Fletcher said: “Across two games against them, the scorelines could have been significantly different.” Choosing to look at the positives from the match, Fletcher added that: “We have not been embarrassed given that Spain can, and have, embarrassed other teams. Nobody would begrudge them the tag of best team in the world so for us to come here and compete like we have earns us a lot of credit. Our belief has grown across the tournament, we are making good strides. Everyone in the dressing room is looking forward to the next campaign, because we are sure we are on the point of qualifying for our first tournament in a long time.”
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