Cape Town, June 6(ANI): Spanish striker Fernando Torres believes that being outclassed by a Zinedine Zidane-inspired France at the 2006 World Cup in Germany helped his national team turn into world beaters.
Torres was part of the Spain team, one of the pre-tournament favourites four years ago, which was crushed by the experienced French side.
"In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, France taught us a big lesson. Without deserving it, back in Spain we gave ourselves the title of favourites for that match. We saw France as a beaten team even though they should have been favourites," News of The World quoted Torres, as saying.They had players of a superior level, but because Zidane was close to retirement and they hadn't played well in group games we thought we would get through. In that match they showed us why there were better than us."They had the experience of winning titles and knew what big competition was all about. They were not afraid of being in the last 16. They didn't feel the pressure. They played their game the way they knew how and they were all over us," he added.
The 26-year-old further said that following that defeat the Spanish team began to build a block, a style and an identity.
"Thanks to Aragones and despite all the criticism which rained down on us, that was the turning point. The more the manager was criticised, the more we were with him," Torres said.
"And from then on, we were as one - the players, and the coach. We went on to win everything through the Euros," he added. (ANI)