Xavi: We are hurting
The Barcelona maestro, who was effectively shut down by USA in the Americans' shock 2-0 semi-final win, was disappointed that the European champions' dreams of another title were shattered. "It's a big disappointment and it hurts not to be in the final because we would have liked to be there," he told reporters.
"Nothing went right for us during the match. We had a lot of scoring chances, but none of them went in. It's a real shame, but I do not believe it is necessary to jump to any negative conclusions. It is important, however, to learn from this defeat."
The defeat ended Spain's 15-match unbeaten streak but Xavi denied they had become complacent. "I don't think this is a lesson in humility for us because the main identity of this team is humility and hard work," he said. "We do not have to prove anything. We have a great group of players and our desire and efforts have always been demonstrated on the pitch."
Captain Iker Casillas admitted the team lost concentration on a freezing night in Bloemfontein. "Something like this had to happen one day and that day was now," he said. "It was one of those games where you play 10 times and you win nine of them. Well, as it would turn out, we lost. We missed a lot of goalscoring chances and we paid for our two defensive errors."
Spain must now lift themselves for a third-place play-off against the losers of Thursday's semi-final between defending champions Brazil and hosts South Africa. "It's clear that this defeat, our first, really hurts, but now we must play the match for third and fourth placing," said Xavi.