|Monday, 25 June 2012 18:15|
DONETSK: Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas compared their Euro 2012 semi-final clash with Portugal on Wednesday to Primera Liga's 'El Clasico' encounters between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Fabregas noted the similarities between the two nations and that of Real and Barca, and concedes the game will be just as tough.
The Portuguese are set to hit Spain on the counterattack, utilising the talents of Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo, while La Roja are bolstered by a Barca spine containing Gerard Pique, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Fabregas.
"You can liken and compare the semi-final to Real versus Barca in terms of the respective styles of the teams," Fabregas told The Sun.
"Portugal are one of the strongest teams. They defend well and are lethal on the counter. They're similar to Real and we must be at the top of our game."
Fabregas also commented on Spain's muted celebrations after the 2-0 quarter-final victory over France last Saturday.
"I thought at the end of the game, we were like 'okay we won'," he said.
"Four years ago, when we won in the quarter-finals by defeating Italy on penalties, we were all together jumping up and down in the middle of the pitch celebrating.
"We were saluting the fans and our families, we felt the joy of a brutal success when we beat Italy. And now it seems like it was an obligation, something normal.
"But these are the wins that we have to evaluate the most inside us because they are so tough. We've won a Euro and a World Cup and now we're already back in the semi-finals. It's enormous," said the former Arsenal star.