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Del Bosque believes Spain face 'difficult' task at Euro 2012


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By David Redshaw

Saturday 03 December 2011


Spain boss Vicente del Bosque believes his side has been handed a ‘difficult’ task at Euro 2012 after the draw held in Kiev on Friday. The reigning European Champions have been drawn in Group C alongside Italy, Republic of Ireland and Croatia for the tournament to be held in Poland and Ukraine between June 8 and July 1next year.


“It is going to be difficult because there are 16 very strong teams and every one of them will be hard to beat,” Del Bosque told Cuatro Televisión. “But I have got the two things I wanted, having avoided Germany and being able to play all our group games in Poland. We will face a country of high standing in Italy and two that have come through the play-offs, so we’ll prepare for them as well as possible.”


Del Bosque also referred to the advantage of facing Italy in the group phase rather than the knockout stages of the competition, saying: “In football you never know but the reality is that we lost to them 2-1 the last time we played them and they are a very strong side.” In addition, he highlighted the fact that if Spain top their group and Germany do likewise then the two countries would avoid each other until the final: “It’s still hypothetical but it’s not bad and I hope it happens. It would be a great final.”


Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente reckons Spain will need to be ‘cautious’ and warned of the potential pitfalls. He said: “The truth is that it is going to be hard, above all because the first match is against Italy in Gdansk and a lot depends upon it. How we emerge from that will be an indicator of how we do in the group stages. But it would be an error for us to think we are favourites because we saw what happened in the first game at the World Cup. We will need to be cautious and play well.”


Llorente also commented on Giovanni Trappatoni’s Republic of Ireland, an old rival of Spain’s from World Cup 2002 and a team he considers will be tough to break down: “They will certainly be strong at the back and it won’t be easy as I’m sure they have good players on the counter-attack,” he said, whilst also hoping he will be fortunate enough to secure a place in Del Bosque’s squad. “I am under no illusions. It is going to be a problem for the Coach who to pick and I must work very hard,” explained the 26-year-old. “But I will be doing everything I can to be there.”


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