Aragones warning for Russia
26 Jun 2008 - 10:51:43
Spain coach Luis Aragones has warned Russia that his side has improved since they brushed their semi-final opponents aside in the group stages.
Spain were comfortable 4-1 winners over Thursday's last-four opponents in their opening Group D encounter in Innsbruck on June 10.
David Villa helped himself to a hat-trick and strike partner Fernando Torres was also on the mark in a game where the Russian defence was cut to ribbons.
However, Aragones has denied claims that his team peaked too early in the competition and has fired a warning to Russia ahead of their semi-final meeting in Vienna.
"That 4-1 defeat was the first game in a big tournament for many of my players," he said. "I'm amazed how much progress we've made since.
"That day we fell into the big trap of giving gifts to our opponents, but after a couple of analytical sessions, then work in training, everything was fixed.
"I'm deeply proud of three things our progress should achieve: putting Russia back in its place within European football, showing the world modern football can be beautiful and taking this group of players on a long footballing journey from where they began."