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French legend praises Spanish midfield

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French star David Ginola believes his country are capable of causing an upset against Spain, but admits Vicente Del Bosque's side have a formidable midfield group.

The former-Tottenham and Newcastle midfielder has been impressed with Del Bosque's side so far, but insists France should not fall into the trap of attempting to replicate Chelsea's defensive Champions League tactics.

Spain have struggled at times during the tournament to cope with fast, counter-attacking teams, and Croatia particularly caused them problems on the break. But Ginola thinks France should play their natural, expansive game against the Spaniards, even when faced with a midfield of such brilliance.

"We have the quality to lift ourselves up against Spain, but the players must want to do so," said the Frenchman. "I would play with two wingers like [Franck] Ribery or [Jeremy] Menez as we did against Ukraine."

Laurent Blanc's side dispatched Ukraine in their second group stage game, but came unstuck against Sweden. France lost 2-0 against Erik Hamren's team and qualified in second place behind England, setting up a challenging quarter-final tie against the reigning European and world champions.

And Ginola admits the Spanish have the ability to take apart any team in the world in the blink of an eye. "We have to do things simply," said Ginola. "We realise that the likes of Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Sergio] Busquets, or [Cesc] Fabregas will not hesitate to play one or two touch football to spread the ball around."

Defeat to Sweden ended France's 23-game unbeaten run, and after the match there were reports of verbal disagreements between the players, echoing the farcical scenes of their failed World Cup 2010 campaign.

But France can put off-the-field issues to one side tomorrow evening when they take on Spain, with a place in the semi-final against Portugal at stake.

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Topics:
European News
Internationals
Football
David Ginola

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