Sean St Ledger was left to reflect upon the most difficult game of his career as the Republic of Ireland attempted to pick up the pieces of their Euro 2012 campaign.

St Ledger and his team-mates felt the full force of reigning world and European champions Spain in Gdansk on Thursday night as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat which ended their hopes of making it out of Group C. The Republic spent Friday regrouping ahead of Monday night's final game against Italy, but with St Ledger still struggling to fully comprehend what he had witnessed.

The 27-year-old Leicester defender said: "They are the best team I have ever played against and am probably likely ever to play against. Everyone knows how well they keep the ball, but on the flip side of that, they are unbelievable at getting it back."

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