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Zidane: Iniesta the danger

SoccerNews in European Championships, La Liga 21 Jun 2012

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Zinedine Zidane has warned France they must stop Spain star Andres Iniesta if they are to progress to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

France suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat against already-eliminated Sweden on Tuesday to finish second in Group D and set up a mouth-watering clash with Vicente del Bosque’s much-fancied outfit in Donetsk on Saturday.

And Zidane, who won the tournament with France in 2000, feels the Barcelona midfielder’s influence could be too much for his compatriots to cope with.

“Iniesta is really impressing me,” Zidane told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope. “He’s got so much influence in Spain’s game. He reminds me of myself, but he is more pale than me.

“I guess the press are being too tough with Spain. For me, the team are playing well, but it’s not easy when their rivals are tight in defence.”

Zidane went on to back the world champions to reach the next round, and added that France’s victory in the 2006 World Cup over the Spanish was motivated by a desire to silence critics in the media.

“Both Spain and France will need a good game to reach the semi-finals,” he said. “My guess is for Spain, they are favourites.

“There is too much discussion over Spain’s game, in 2006 we (France) got angry because of what the press were saying about us and we reached the final.”

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