Spain midfielder Koke says teammate Unai Simon has “big balls”
The goalkeeper made two saves in the shootout, stopping Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji before Swiss youngster Ruben Vargas hit his spot-kick over the bar as Spain reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
Simon has such big balls, Koke says
Spain midfielder Koke says teammate Unai Simon has “big balls” after the keeper stepped up to lead the way in a penalty shootout win over Switzerland. The goalkeeper made two saves in the shootout, stopping Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji before Swiss youngster Ruben Vargas hit his spot-kick over the bar as Spain reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020. The goalkeeper’s heroics comes just days after his mistake led to an unsuccessful own goal, earning praise from his teammate for his ability to bounce back from disaster. “Simon has such big balls,” Koke said of his teammate. “What happened to him against Croatia was unlucky, but what he did after that was incredible, with a lot of calm. Hopefully, he will continue at this level.”
Spain are all 100 per cent
Koke added: “How can it not make us strong to overcome difficulties? That unites more, and, in the end, everything works out. You can see from the outside that the team is united, and we are all 100 per cent.” Simon explained his views of the shootout, saying that he was at least at first upset that it had come to that stage. Luis Enrique’s side played up a man since the 77th minute when the referee decided to send Switzerland midfielder Remo Freuler for a studs-up tackle. Despite the man advantage, Spain were unable to find the target they needed to avoid a shootout. Once there, however, Simon stepped up, leading Spain to a quarterfinal clash with Italy.
“It’s a feeling of euphoria, but also anger at all the work that the team did in 120 minutes,” he said. “We weren’t supposed to get there, but we were lucky, the coin fell on our side, and we are pleased about it. Today is perfect,” he added, “but we still have to win this European Championship.”