VANDERBIJLPARK - Gelson Fernandes described his goal for Switzerland in their shock World Cup win over Spain as the best of his career but was so tired he missed out on the team's post-game celebrations.
The midfielder, who is of Cape Verdean descent, seemed reluctant to be cast in the role of Swiss hero at a news conference in Vanderbijlpark on Thursday following Wednesday night's Group H 1-0 victory.
"It wasn't the nicest goal I've scored, but the best of my career. I don't score much, though. It was a good feeling to see the ball go in the net and we deserve it in a way because we worked hard, we ran a lot," he said.
"It is memorable to score against as good a team as the Spanish, because they have so many players of world class quality," he beamed, warming up to the questioning.
"The euphoria for the country, for you journalists even, made it very important. But we have to forget about it now and turn our attention to the next match."
The Swiss are now handily placed in an unpredictable group where they must still play Chile and Honduras.
Fernandes said he had missed the post-match celebrations in the changing room and bus after the match in Durban because he had to go for a doping test.
"When I got to the plane I was too tired."
Fernandes said the Swiss side had grown in potential since their last tournament, where as co-hosts of the Euro 2008 they tumbled out in the first round, finishing bottom of their group.
"We are a generation of players who were perhaps too young for the last Euro. But we have shown our qualities, we played compactly, we defended together and we have a super manager (Ottmar Hitzfeld).
"It's great for the morale but we must keep our feet on the ground because there is more to come."
The Swiss flew back after their victory on Wednesday to their headquarters at a casino resort, some 90km south of Johannesburg.
Their next game is against Chile in Port Elizabeth on Monday. "It's a game we expect will be very hard. We have to concentrate hard but we have to be ambitious too."comments