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Spain vow not to get ahead of themselves

Written by: Staff

KAMEN, Germany, June 17 (Reuters) Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas today said that talk about likely opponents in the last 16 of the World Cup was premature and insisted that the team's only aim is to win their next match against Tunisia.

Spain got off to a flying start with their 4-0 win in their opening game against Ukraine, a result that has kicked off a wave of euphoria amongst fans and Spanish media.

''It could be a bit dangerous to think that every game will be like the first one,'' the Arsenal midfielder told a news conference.

''Everyone is now saying that Spain are fantastic, while before they had doubts about us, but there is only one thing in our minds and that is the Tunisia game.

''It would be silly of us to start choosing our opponents when we haven't even qualified yet.'' ''We want to beat everyone and we aren't thinking about letting another team beat us in order to meet a certain side in the last 16.

''Often the teams that you think are less strong turn out to the toughest opponents and vice versa. We came here to play against the best sides and we want to finish top of the group and that's it.'' The 19-year-old, who became the youngest Spanish player to appear in a World Cup when he came on as a substitute in the Ukraine game, said he did not expect to be in the starting lineup for Monday's match against the 2004 African champions.

''Normally you don't touch things that are working and we expect the boss to select the same team again,'' he said. ''We all just hope that everything carries on as it has started.'' Centre back Carlos Marchena, who is acting as understudy to first-choice pairing Carles Puyol and Pablo Ibanez, agreed and said it was important to put the opening game in perspective.

''Selfishly footballers always want to play, but the most important thing is the team,'' he said. ''The coach chooses the 11 he wants and although we may not be completely happy we have to be ready to step in when needed.'' ''We've done nothing yet. We played a good game, but if we lose the next two we're out. We have to approach the Tunisia game as a final.'' Spain play Tunisia in Stuttgart on Monday and play their final Group H match against Saudi Arabia four days later. Tunisia drew 2-2 with Saudi Arabia in their first game.

Reuters PM VV1802

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