Euro 2012: Spain will not take the biscuit, says Raul Albiol

Spanish defender Raul Albiol said on Saturday the defending champions would be looking to beat Croatia in their final Euro 2012 Group C game on Monday.

Updated: June 17, 2012 12:35 IST
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Gniewino: Spanish defender Raul Albiol said on Saturday the defending champions would be looking to beat Croatia in their final Euro 2012 Group C game on Monday.

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There have been fears expressed in Italy that with both the Spanish and Croats both on four points and the Italians on two the former two sides will ease up if they are drawing 2-2 in their game - it would make an Italian win over pointless Ireland irrelevant.

However, Albiol sought to assuage Italian fears as expressed in the Italian media they would fall victims to a "biscotto", or biscuit in English.

In Italian it is the term used for an arrangement between two parties at the expense of a third.

"It is clear there will be no pact," said the 26-year-old Real Madrid star.

"Each team is targeting victory so as not having to depend on others.

"Now obviously a 2-2 draw is a result that can happen, just as a 1-0, a 0-1 or a 1-1.

"Italy can rest easy: Spain will be looking to win this match just as it always does.

"We are looking for the three points that will assure us of topping the group and I am sure that Croatia will also play this game with the ambition of winning it.

"We are not insulted by these claims. These anxieties are not coming from the Italian team, but from the press.

"It is true that with a draw, we will qualify for the quarter-finals, but we want to win," he insisted.

Albiol, a member of both the 2010 World Cup and Euro winning squads, added in the quarter-finals he would prefer to face England than France because he believes the French are stronger than their Group D rivals.

The top two in Group C play the top two in Group D - the first from each group playing the runners-up of the other - in the quarter-finals.

At present France and England are the top two in their group, on four points one ahead of co-hosts Ukraine while Sweden are out of contention after two defeats.

However, Albiol said from what he had seen of France's 2-0 win over Ukraine and then England's thrilling 3-2 victory over Sweden on Friday he knew which team he would prefer to face in the last eight.

"France played really well against Ukraine. They are one of the teams who for me are among the favourites," said the Real Madrid star.

His team-mate Alvaro Negredo agreed with him and said that a clash with England or Ukraine would be preferable.

"I think that France is a little stronger (than Ukraine and England). France has more quality to my mind," said the Sevilla marksman.

England wrap up their group games against Ukraine on Tuesday needing just a draw to progress while France play Sweden where a point would also suffice if the other match produces a winner.

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