Fabregas plays down Ronaldo-Barca showdown

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Cesc Fabregas insists tonight’s Euro 2012 clash between Spain and Portugal is about much more than the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry.

The semi-final pits Cristiano Ronaldo against a host of rival players on the international stage, with Los Blancos stars Fabio Coentrao and Pepe also playing for Paolo Bento’s side.

Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets will all play for La Roja, with a heavy Catalan feel to Vicente del Bosque’s outfit.

However, ex-Arsenal midfielder Fabregas insists the game is about much more than club rivalries, and the sole focus of the Spain players will be to advance to the final.

"Tonight's match is not a clash between Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona. That's not what is going through our heads," he told to El Mundo Deportivo.

"We know all too well that this is a match between Spain and Portugal. We all want the best for our teams and there is nothing more to it. We will just go out and play our own game, and won't think about anything else.

"Portugal have a great team and a lot of potential. They don't play the kind of football you would expect from them. They have some great players in midfield, and their attack is very unpredictable."

Fabregas is expected to start in the ‘false nine’ position for Spain, with Chelsea hitman Fernando Torres again likely to miss out.

Both players have two goals in Poland and Ukraine thus far, putting them in contention to win this summer’s Golden Boot. Taking home the European crown will be of far more importance to both players, however, as Spain look to complete a unique trophy treble over a four-year spell.

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