'He's got big balls!' - Koke full of praise for Spain hero Unai Simon after shootout win

Posted Saturday, July 03, 2021 by Goal.com

'He's got big balls!' - Koke full of praise for Spain hero Unai Simon after shootout win

The goalkeeper made two big saves in the shootout to lead his team to the semi-final round of the Euros

Spain midfielder Koke says his team-mate Unai Simon has "big balls" after the goalkeeper stepped up to lead the way in a shootout win over Switzerland.

Simon made two saves in the shootout, stopping Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji before Swiss youngster Ruben Vargas fired his spot-kick over the bar as Spain reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

The goalkeeper's heroics come just days after his mistake led to an unfortunate own goal, earning praise from his team-mate for his ability to bounce back from a disaster.

What was said?

"He has such big balls," Koke said of his team-mate. “What happened to him against Croatia was unfortunate but what he did afterwards was incredible, with great tranquility. I hope it continues at this level."

He added: "How can it not make us strong to overcome adversity? That unites more and, in the end, things work out. You can see from the outside that the group is united and we are all 100 per cent."

A feeling of euphoria

Simon explained his own views of the shootout, saying that he was, at least at first, frustrated it had come to that stage.

Spain had been playing up a man since the 77th minute, when referee Michael Oliver opted to send off Swiss midfielder Remo Freuler for a studs-up tackle.

Despite the man advantage, Spain were unable to find the goal they needed to avoid a shootout.

Once there, though, Simon stepped up, leading Spain to a quarter-final clash with either Belgium or Italy.

"It's a feeling of euphoria, but also of anger at all the work the team was doing in the 120 minutes," he said. "We should not have gotten there but we were lucky, the coin fell on our side and we are very happy about it."

"Today is very good," he added, "but we still have to win this European Championship."

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