Javier Lozano: "Immense satisfaction"
Wily Spain coach Javier Lozano was a picture of happiness after the final of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004. Modest and unassuming in victory, Lozano met with FIFA.com to look back on a second world title triumph.
FIFA.com: It was tight, but in the end Spain deserved to win.
Javier Lozano: First off, I'd like to congratulate Italy. They had a truly exceptional tournament, and played to a high standard throughout the fortnight. Tonight, they maybe lacked that bit of experience you need when you're playing a major final. Before winning a World Championship final, you probably have to lose one. I can assure you that the experience of losing out at the last hurdle in '96 helped us win our next two finals.
Next, and this is only my opinion, I would say that Spain were more up for it than Italy, right from the off. We wanted to win, and that was clear for everyone to see. My players felt more and more confident as the competition went on. We had a few problems in the first and second rounds but were able to lift our game when it mattered. This team is very strong mentally.
Tell us about Marcelo, one of the revelations of Chinese Taipei 2004.
Without the team, he's nothing. He is the example of someone who uses his talent for the good of the team. For me, he has no individual value. I only see the team.
So you're saying that Spain's triumph is down to teamwork?
If you analyse each player, one by one, outside the team context, Spain are not the best. But put them together and we are very, very strong.
You must feel great satisfaction at leading Spain to a second successive world title.
I'm nothing without these crazy guys (smiles). I'm part of the team just as they are. Sometimes my decisions are not very well understood in Spain but I don't care. I just get on with my job.
Is your joy greater than in 2000?
I would say that it is a bit greater because this squad of players is slightly less talented than the one I had four years ago. The tournament was also more open because more teams were in with a chance of winning it. I think those factors make my players' win all the more merit-worthy. I feel a sense of immense satisfaction tonight. I honestly think that without Guatemala, we wouldn't have been so strong, because the players who won there brought a lot of calm to the team.
Do you think that Chinese Taipei 2004 was a better tournament than Guatemala 2000?
No, I don't. The problem here was the playing surface. It is almost impossible to play on it, and I am saying that because we won. If not, I would not have said a word. Futsal needs speed, and for that you need to play on parquet. In Guatemala, I think we saw much better futsal. Here, the defences were on top.
The final was a close-run thing. How do you explain that?
Both keepers were great for a start. And as I said, the playing surface didn't make for attacking futsal.
What is your side's greatest strength?
Its calmness. Throughout the competition my guys kept their cool. What pleased me most was that I had a bunch of friends to work with. I can promise you that is the truth.
The European Championship is just around the corner. It is being held in February in the Czech Republic. Are you thinking ahead to that competition already?
Let's just concentrate on celebrating here. We will have more than enough time to prepare for that tournament.