Thursday, December 2, 2021

Spain´s Albiol warns of Italy, France backlash

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Jun 2008


Spanish central defender Raul Albiol, in line to replace the injured Carles Puyol for Wednesday’s final Group D game on Greece, warned Monday he believed potential quarter-final opponents Italy and France could be about to bounce back.

Speaking in the Spanish camp at Neustift in Austria, Albiol said he thought both sides would come out fighting after their respective poor starts to Euro 2008 and that the Spanish should be ready to take on either, rather than their other potential opponent, Romania.

“They said Romania was the easiest (in the French and Italian group) but from what I’ve seen it’s not like that. But France and Italy can wake up at any moment.

“I think we should not think too much about who we are going to face and concentrate on how we are doing,” said the 22-year-old Valencia defender.

“Before the Euro started, yes, I could have preferred Romania as Italy and France faced off in the last World Cup final and Holland are always Holland. Romania did not have such a reputation but they have turned in two great showings,” Albiol said.

With experienced Barcelona star Puyol suffering from a sole injury, Albiol — who only made his international debut last autumn — is set to partner Carlos Marchena at the back against the Greeks and then possibly in the quarters as well.

Albiol came on for Puyol after just 24 minutes of the 2-1 win over Sweden in Innsbruck.

“If I play against Greece, even if we go out there with a different line-up from the usual one, we will still be right up for it. We want to finish with nine points in the group. You must never relax,” Albiol insisted, keen to grab his chance with both hands.

“I am just thinking about being ready for Wednesday and taking my opportunity (but) it’s better if we don’t have any injuries and that those who do have knocks get over them, We — all 23 of us — have to be united.”

Spain have achieved little of note since their only senior triumph in the 1964 competition, though they did reach the final only to bow to France in 1984.

“But this does not weigh on us psychologically. We have to think that this is another tournament and take things step by step. All being well we will get past this quarter-final barrier,” Albiol insisted.

In recent tournaments, Spain have tended to fall apart in the last eight after a promising start.


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.



Leave a Reply

Notify of
Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More