Casillas proud to be in finals
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Spain have created a reputation for performing below expectations at major tournaments and crashing out just as the competition hots up.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas believes Spain have been unfortunate in previous tournaments, rather than through their own failings.
Casillas is also keen for Spain to be well supported in neighbouring Portugal and does not feel the fierce regionalism which exists in the country should be a barrier to success.
"As a Madrileno, maybe I feel more Spanish than people from elsewhere," Casillas told The Guardian.
"But that doesn't mean nobody cares. In Castilla everyone really, really wants Spain to go all the way.
"For me, though, it's more than that. I was made as a footballer and a person in the youth team at Madrid and Spain.
"I've played at every level from Under-15 upwards. It's part of me.
"And I'm sure that Xavi, a great friend and a Catalan, would say exactly the same. He's desperate to win the European Championships with Spain and he is super-proud to be there, just like I am."
The young shot-stopper insists Spain can not be ranked as favourites for Euro 2004 due to their previous record on the international stage but is looking for a change of luck in Portugal.
"How can we be (favourites) when we've never won anything?" he continued.
"Spain have this thing of 'quarter finals and home' but we've been unlucky.
"At the last World Cup we were knocked out because of the referee, it's that simple. No matter what we did we couldn't beat South Korea."
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