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Ramos wants to avoid spot kicks

Spain defender Sergio Ramos hopes the Euro 2012 final against Italy is not decided by a penalty shoot-out.

Reigning European champions Spain beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties to progress from the semi-finals on Wednesday.

And Ramos does not want to see a repeat of the shootout in the final, to be played in Kiev on Sunday.

“Honestly, I would not like to go into a penalty shoot-out again,” he said during a press conference.

“But we are very eager to win and for that we will need to stay humble and try to do things well, while respecting Italy.

“These days, memories of our recent past come to our mind. This motivates us to win this final and relive those incredible moments with the Spanish people.”

Real Madrid defender Ramos converted his penalty against Portugal with an audacious chip, but said it was not intended as a message to those who criticised him for his failed attempt against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals.

“A lot of things were said and the truth is that they hurt my pride,” Ramos said.

“But I did not take the penalty like this for any special reason, only because I was confident.

“There were many people waiting for me to miss, but that never affected me.”

Andrea Pirlo has been an integral part of Italy’s run to the final, but Ramos stressed the Juventus man was not the only threat to the defending champions.

“He is a unique player, one of the best in Italy, but he is not their only threat,” Ramos said.

“What has taken them to the final is their collective game. There is not just one stand-alone player.”

Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas, who also netted in the shootout against Portugal, also singled out Pirlo, along with strikers Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano, as Italy’s danger-men.

“We will have to stop Italy’s attackers, and Pirlo as well,” Fabregas said.

“Balotelli is a great player and he showed it yesterday. He scored two great goals against Germany in the semi-finals.

“That says it all. I really liked the way he played. He will be a threat, like Antonio Cassano or any other player.”

Fri 29 June, 2012
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