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Albiol rejects ´draw´ thoughts

16 June 2012 19:12

Spain defender Raul Albiol has spoken on the topic of colluding with an opponent ahead of Spain's clash with Croatia.

If Spain draw 2-2 with Croatia on Monday, they will both qualify for the quarter-finals, making any possible Italy win against Ireland irrelevant.

And Albiol was asked about the motivation of the Spanish squad ahead of the tie.

"The 2-2 (a score that will see both Spain and Croatia qualify) will be a possible score. But so is a 1-0 or a 0-1," he said.

"We'll play for the victory, so will Italy and Croatia. We all want to depend on ourselves, so we all play to win. There is no pact and there won't be a fixed 2-2. Each team will play to win."

A Spain victory in their final game will see them qualify as group winners and a possible quarter-final opponent could be Roy Hodgson's England team.

Both Albiol and striker Alvaro Negredo agree that while a match against England may be a tough encounter, another potential match-up against France may prove to be a sterner test.

"We know England, we played a friendly recently against them and we have seen their games so far," Albiol said.

"We can face them in quarter-finals, but we are playing first against Croatia to qualify.

"If we happen to play against England, then, it will be a competitive team, with great players.

"A tough rival even though they haven't been brilliant sometimes."

Negredo, meanwhile, would prefer to avoid France in the round of the last eight.

"Either France or England will be difficult but from my point of view I think France is stronger right now, they have slightly more quality," Negredo said.

"But if we want to reach our target that means we have to beat everybody in order to be champions."

Both Spain against Croatia and Italy against Ireland take place in Poland on Monday.

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