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Mata regrets early exit

Spain midfielder Juan Mata says his team did not deserve to be eliminated from the men’s football tournament at the Olympics.

Reigning world and European champions at senior level, Spain were widely considered one of the favourites for the 2012 Olympic title, but crashed out in the group stages following consecutive 1-0 defeats to Japan and Honduras.

And Mata, who was one of Spain’s three picks over the age of 23 for the Games, has posted on Twitter to express his belief Spain were undeservedly knocked out of London 2012.

He wrote: “Thanks for your support. It’s been a pity, I do believe that this team deserved more … we have to learn and grow from defeats.”

The Chelsea midfielder, who was part of Spain’s victorious Euro 2012 squad in Poland and Ukraine, also called for his team-mates to put in a professional performance in their last Group D game against Morocco on Wednesday.

“Now we have to stand up and play the last match with professionalism.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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