Spain coach Vicente del Bosque relishing France quarter-final
Wednesday 20 June 2012
Vicente del Bosque has said he is looking forward to facing France in the quarter-finals of the European Championships on Saturday but has warned against complacency on the part of the world champions.
The two sides last met in a friendly prior to the 2010 World Cup, when goals from Sergio Ramos and David Villa handed Spain a 2-0 win at the Stade de France, but Del Bosque is aware of how much the French side has changed in the intervening two years.
He told Radio Marca: "We know the equality there is in the competition. Any team is difficult but France are playing well and have a good team.
"They have made changes that have got results. They have got the formula right and Karim Benzema, Hatem Ben Arfa, Samir Nasri, Florent Malouda and Franck Ribery are all very good players.
"Moreover, we are going to have a triple ration of France in a short time because we meet them in the qualification group for the World Cup. The competition is like this and we have to accept who we have been paired with.
"What I don't want is this Spanish custom that we don't have to be careful of the opponent. It is a huge match, a match that appeals to everyone.
"We have time to think about the team we will pick on Saturday and we will adopt the line-up we believe will be the best."
Del Bosque was however very defensive of his side's display in the 1-0 win over Croatia in their final group game. Jesus Navas' goal three minutes from time was enough to guarantee the European champions top spot in Group C, but they failed to find their normal rhythm for large spells and were even thankful to Iker Casillas for a fine save from Ivan Rakitic when the score was still 0-0.
"We had 70% of possession, we shot on goal 16 or 17 times and they had only seven or eight attempts," he said. "We dominated more than Croatia and we didn't play badly. We weren't as bad as it appeared to me at the time.
"It was an awkward game for us. We had a lot of compliments rained down on us the week before and there was a stream of comments that we were superior to the rest.
"The conservatism that sometimes doesn't lead to great football could have cost us and possibly we didn't have a lot of penetration but in defence we were pretty good."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127