The Barcelona midfield maestro revealed that La Roja suffered against Croatia with the added weight of expectations on their shoulders weighing them down.
Spain meet with traditional rivals France in the quarter-final stages of the Poland and Ukraine hosted European Championship.
La Roja managed to book their place in the knockout rounds of Euro 2012 after slugging it out against Italy and Croatia, while showing their class against Republic of Ireland in a 4-0 drubbing.
While the 1-1 draw against Italy was regarded as one off, Vicente Del Bosque’s charges were criticised for their inability to score goals while continuing with the footballing philosophy.
Andres Iniesta came out in the open to talk about the subject, attributing their grinding out the result due to nerves, as they desperately looked for a win to go ahead.
Continuing on the subject, Iniesta also paid tribute to Slaven Bilic’s men, stating that they are a strong team who played for a win and were close to achieving their target if their strikers had profited from the chances the midfield created for them.
Iniesta stated that all the factors combined together to influence the game but claimed that Spain did not play as bad as it has been reported in newspapers.
La Masia youth academy graduate opined that the reason for this can be attributed to La Roja’s dominance in world football, which has led to inhuman expectations of the Spanish contingent in Poland and Ukraine. He highlighted Spain’s triumph in the last
two international competitions to make his point.
"I think what made it so complicated was knowing that a draw wasn't enough to go through and the minutes went by and the goals weren't coming.”
“And we were playing Croatia, which is a great team. They needed a win. All of that influenced certain periods of the game and that’s why we suffered a little, but we didn't play that badly," he assured.
"When a team has played well for a long time, and has won the Euros and the World Cup, the expectations are very high, and that's something that goes with past success. It's inevitable," the Spanish midfielder went on to say.