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Friday, June 23, 2006
Fringe players benefited, says Spain's Juanito

KAISERSLAUTERN, June 23 (Reuters) - Spain goalscorer Juanito said the 1-0 World Cup win over Saudi Arabia on Friday proved valuable experience for the fringe players in the squad.

'The game didn't have a lot of importance because we had already qualified but it was a chance for the other players to impress,' he told Spanish radio.

Coach Luis Aragones fielded an entirely new team for Spain's final Group H match.

'We all did the best we could and I was pleased with my performance because it isn't every day you can score a goal in a World Cup,' added Juanito.

'We played well enough in the first half but lost too many balls too easily in the second when we took it a little easy.

'But they were not easy opponents. They made it difficult for us.'

Spain now play France, Switzerland or South Korea in the last 16.

'I don't care who we get in the next round, though France are clearly the strongest side we can come up against,' said Juanito.

'It's one more little step to (the final) in Berlin. We'll see how it goes.'

One of the fringe players given a chance on Friday was striker Jose Antonio Reyes.

'It was my first match today,' said Reyes. 'I was quite happy. I think I did a good job. We won and that's the important thing.

'I think people can expect a lot more from us. This is just the beginning. This was just our start.'




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