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Martinez: Spain unlucky at Games

Spain's disastrous performance at the London Olympics football tournament was mostly due to bad luck, according to midfielder Javi Martinez.

Having been among the pre-tournament favourites, Spain unexpectedly went home early having scored no goals and picked up just one point in their three group games against Japan, Honduras and Morocco.

Athletic Bilbao's Martinez said that although Spain had not reached the level they were capable of, misfortune had played a major part in their exit.

"We have wasted a great opportunity, because we had a great team and a great coach," Martinez told the FIFA website. "But football's like that sometimes, and we simply didn't perform to the best of our ability.

"That said, I do think the team played well and deserved much more than we got - we just didn't get any luck going our way. For example, in the game against Honduras we racked up 24 shots at goal, we hit the woodwork three times, had ten clear chances and the ball wouldn't go in the net - and they had two chances and scored once. There's not much you can do about that."

Despite the disappointing results, Martinez said he had enjoyed the experience of competing at an Olympics. "Being at these Games is a very special experience," he added.

"Spain hadn't appeared at this tournament for 12 years, so we should be proud of that as well. To have experienced the opening ceremony first-hand, been part of the athletes' parade and visited the Olympic Village are memories that we'll never forget."

Athletic travel to Croatia for a Europa League third round qualifier second leg at NK Slaven on Thursday, having won last week's first leg 3-1 at San Mames.


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