Fabregas backs striker Nolito to fire for Spain at Euro
Madrid, June 7 (IANS) Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas has backed striker Nolito to deliver for the two-time defending champions at the Euro 2016 football championship starting on June 10 in France.
Celta Vigo's Nolito has been impressive across his last two appearances for his country. The 29-year-old former FC Barcelona player has scored four goals in total against Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Korea.
That led to Fabregas stressing the importance of a player who can find the net, considering Spain's former prolific goal-scorers have either retired or been overlooked for the squad.
Moreover, 39 La Liga goals in 100 appearances make him one of the most fearsome goal-scorers in European football today.
"I see him fresh and raring to go; players like Nolito are important after the departures of (Fernando) Torres and (David) Villa," Fabregas was quoted as saying by Spanish paper Marca on Monday.
"He has energy, goals and understands the Spanish game very well; I hope we play many minutes together."
Spain have scored nine goals across their last two games and are considered one of the favourites in France, which isn't a concern for the Chelsea midfielder.
"Being favourites doesn't matter. you have to treat matches with the utmost seriousness as everyone wants Spain to win," said Fabregas, who was a part of Spain's Euro-winning teams in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The title holders, coached by Vicente del Bosque, take on the Czech Republic on June 13 in their first game of the tournament, in a group which also includes Turkey and Croatia.
"I think the first game is vital; ultimately, it doesn't affect the final result, like what happened at the World Cup," the 29-year-old continued, referencing Spain's 0-1 defeat to Switzerland in 2010, before they went on to lift the trophy.
"However, for the team's belief, it is important to play well and win."