Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has revealed that he considers Cesc Fabregas a high quality player, but added that competition for places is fierce in the squad.
Fabregas started Spain's opening group game against Italy, and scored, but dropped to the bench for their next two matches against Ireland and Croatia. Fernando Torres replaced the Barca star in Del Bosque's side, although Fabregas replaced him in the second-half on both occasions, scoring against Ireland.
But the Spain boss admitted that intense competition for places means Fabregas is not guaranteed a starting place against France.
"I consider him [Fabregas] a starter," said Del Bosque. "I hold him in great esteem. He is such a good player, but you have to understand that there is a lot of competition here. It's hard to find room for so many good players and we have to be careful because every game is a final."
The 61-year-old former-Madrid boss is hoping to guide Spain to a historic third consecutive international trophy, and with Juan Mata, Javi Martinez and Cesc Fabregas warming the bench in recent matches, Del Bosque is blessed with a talented squad.
His side face Space this evening, with a place in the semi-final at stake. Portugal's victory over Czech Republic means Ronaldo and co await the winner of the Spain versus France quarter-final.
But after a patchy group stage, during which Spain stumbled against Italy and Croatia, Del Bosque's side are under pressure from an expectant Spanish public to reproduce their flowing football of past tournaments.