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Iker asks for forgiveness

A dejected Iker Casillas

Rio de Janeiro: Spain’s players had different explanations for the team’s early World Cup exit.

Captain Iker Casillas said there was lack of commitment, midfielder Xabi Alonso thought there wasn’t enough hunger. According to Fernando Torres, Spain were “just not good enough.”

Chile’s 2-0 victory on Wednesday meant the 2010 World Cup champions are the first title holders to exit after just two games following the opening 1-5 loss to The Netherlands.

Spain’s squad of 23 players featured 16 who were part of their World Cup success in South Africa. Casillas, Alonso and Xavi Hernandez had been the engine behind the team’s triumphs on the world stage, but were left exposed in Brazil.

“We were not hungry enough. We didn’t know how to maintain our hunger or that conviction which is needed to win a tournament. The joy and success we’ve experienced is over,” Alonso said.

Spain’s players agreed that they did not read their opponents well, or know when to clamp down and control the games through keeping possession as they have been known to do.

“The commitment wasn’t there,” said Casillas, who owned up to perhaps his two worst performances in 156 appearances for Spain. “From the very first moment, everything went awry. We ask for people’s forgiveness. But they should know that we tried everything to bring them joy once again, although it was not to be,” he said.