Spain right-back Alvaro Arbeloa has spoken out against those who have criticised his country’s Euro 2012 campaign.
Despite topping a tricky Group C, which also containted the Republic of Ireland, Italy and Croatia, Spain have been widely panned for failing to replicate the flowing football that won them the tournament four years ago.
However, Arbeloa believes the public expect too much of his side, and that they are facing tough opposition in every match in Ukraine and Poland.
“All that (debate) speaks volumes about the demands made on Spain,” he told AS.
“People don’t seem to realise that in a competition like this the difficulty is huge.
“You can’t win every game 3-0, you can’t be brilliant every time. The opposition play too but it is as if they don’t exist.”
“I’ve played in England, I know what kind of games they like: open, loads of chances. Maybe when people see our type of game, a game defined by control, they find that boring.
“That’s normal. I can understand that.”
Ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash with France, Arbeloa spoke about Laurent Blanc’s team’s recent defeat to Sweden, and admitted he was surprised to see them finish second in Group D.
“I was watching England-Ukraine, not France, because I thought we’d play England. I was surprised that France didn’t beat Sweden because they weren’t playing for anything,” Arbeloa said.
“But for everyone it’s been hard to win; this tournament has been more equal than people expected. It is a pity, I quite fancied England, but it’s still a big game. It’s going to be very hard.”