Fernando Hierro doesn’t want to know about Spain’s horrible history of playing the hosts of major tournaments as his side prepare to face Russia in the World Cup last 16 in Moscow on Sunday.
“Records are there to be broken,” the coach told a reporter on Saturday who told him that Spain have never beaten a host at the World Cup or European Championship.
“We have everything very clearly in mind,” Hierro said, insisting he was ready for anything Russia could throw at him.
“Why are we looking in the rear view mirror? Why are we looking at the past? It’s all about tomorrow, 5 p.m. Everything else is completely irrelevant.”
Most painfully in recent memory, Spain lost to South Korea on penalties in the 2002 World Cup. They were also beaten by Portugal in Euro 2004 and by England — on penalties — at Euro 96.
Hierro dismissed fears of playing in front of a vocal home crowd.
Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who injured his hamstring in his country’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in their first World Cup match, will be fit to play today. TASS news agency cited his father as saying.
“Alan is currently feeling good… He told me that he will play in the match against Spain, if not in the starting line-up then as a substitute,” TASS quoted Dzagoev’s father Tarel as saying.