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Page last updated at 22:49 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 23:49 UK

Maturing Spain impress Aragones

Spain coach Luis Aragones
Aragones hints he will rest Spain's stars when they face Greece

Luis Aragones feels his Spanish side have the maturity to win Euro 2008.

Aragones' team finished top of Group D with three straight wins and will now face Italy in the quarter-finals.

"Italy are going to be very difficult opponents but at this stage every team is difficult," said Aragones, whose side beat Greece 2-1 on Wednesday.

"This side have learnt a lot. We were a young side at the World Cup and now we know what these competitions are like. I think we can carry on."

Aragones was pleased to be able to rest his first-team players against Greece and give some squad players a run out.

"This part is over and now we are on to the really impressive bit. We hope that the sort of mentality we have shown up until now will help us through," he added.

606: DEBATE

"We know we face difficult opponents, but Italy will be thinking the same. Both sides have a lot to lose, but the only thing we can do is head into the game with a positive attitude knowing that we can win.

"We have an advantage (over Italy) because we could rest most of our players. It is a very compressed, intense competition and the players feel it."

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso was one player to make the most of his chance to get some playing time, with a man-of-the-match performance.

"It was important for us to win the game," he said. "We complicated the first half but we're leaving satisfied.

"We're taking it step-by-step. Now the classification is done and we were only thinking about this game. Now Italy."


Group D
18 June 2008 21:40
    P GD PTS
1 Spain 3 5 9
2 Russia 3 0 6
3 Sweden 3 -1 3
4 Greece 3 -4 0

see also
Greece 1-2 Spain
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Euro 2008 day 12 as it happened
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Group D photos
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Greece v Spain player rater
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Greece team guide
15 May 08 |  Greece
Spain team guide
15 May 08 |  Spain


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