Malouda: We fear Torres

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Florent Malouda has admitted he is worried Fernando Torres could start to fire for Spain in their Euro 2012 quarter final against France on Saturday.

Torres has two goals to his name from Spain’s three games in the tournament so far, making him La Roja's joint top-scorer alongside Cesc Fabregas.

Torres endured a torrid season with Chelsea last time round but has shown signs he is rediscovering his best form more recently with his country.

Malouda is worried that Torres is finding the confidence that helped him become one of the most feared strikers in Europe just in time for Spain’s showdown against France in Donetsk this weekend.

"Fernando finished the season very strongly and showed great determination," Malouda told reporters. "He has a great desire to show that he is still one of the world's great strikers. The Euros are a perfect showcase for him to show his qualities and he can demonstrate this and return to the club stronger.

"It will be difficult for us because we will meet again the player who won the previous European Championships and World Cup. It will be very dangerous for us to face Fernando, just like it was for us up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"Fernando can easily score two or three goals and he is the player who makes great runs for his team-mates. He will be a true menace for us and we must do everything to make sure he will not shine."

France go into the game on the back of a demoralising 2-0 defeat against Sweden in their final group game, which meant they were forced to settle for second place behing England in Group D.

That defeat bought to an end France’s 23-game unbeaten run amidst reports of a bust-up in the French camp, with Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben-Arfa and Laurent Blanc all said to have been involved.

Malouda admits that France will have to dramatically improve against Spain or face exiting Euro 2012.

"It's not the end of the run that was a shock but more the way it ended because we didn't look like a the team who had gone on such a long unbeaten sequence, that was the shocking part of it," he said.

"We have worked so hard since what happened at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago to qualify for the Euros and now to get into the quarter finals here. The fact we gave up that run playing just like a normal team who came here to have fun was shocking.

"Every player knows this and we don't need to be told by anyone else it was shocking. Now it is about how we start another run beginning against Spain."

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Florent Malouda
Fernando Torres

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