Euro 2012: Torres ready for French test after 2006 failure

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Fernando Torres
Gniewino, Jun 22: Spain striker Fernando Torres said on Thursday he hoped the reigning champions would play to their full potential in their Euro 2012 quarter-final match with France on Sunday.

The Chelsea striker, who scored two goals in the 4-0 rout against Ireland in the Group stage, said if they managed to win it would be a repetition of what a more experienced French side did to the less fancied Spanish team in the second round of 2006 World Cup.

France won 3-1 after being criticised by the Spanish media in 2006 by saying that their younger side would win to send 'Zidane and the other oldies into retirement'.

"That day, France taught us a good lesson which helped us to grow up as a team, even if only a few players remain from that time," the former Liverpool forward wrote on his website.

"We will hope that this time, our experience will tilt the balance of the game in our favour."

Meanwhile, Spain have never beaten France in a competitive match. Apart from the loss in the 2006 World Cup, the Spaniards were defeated in the European Championships final back in 1984 and were eliminated by the French in the quarter-finals of Euro 2000.

Torres, who scored the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final against Germany, was confident ahead of Sunday's crucial clash but hoped the French repeat their hapless performance against already eliminated Sweden.

"France are a great side who perhaps didn't have their finest day (against Sweden). We hope that against us they won't return to their best form, but if they do so we will be ready," he said.

"These days, Spain, at its best, is very hard to beat," Torres, who has 96 caps and scored 30 goals for La Roja, said.

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