Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is wary of the threat posed by Croatia after being paired alongside the 1998 World Cup semi-finalists, Czech Republic and Turkey in the draw for Euro 2016 on Saturday.
Del Bosque’s men squeezed past Croatia 1-0 on their way to winning a second consecutive European Championships three years ago and he is only too aware of the threat posed by the likes of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic.
“We face two teams that have played in the same qualifying group in Czech Republic and Turkey and Croatia, who are one of the best teams in Europe with excellent players. It will be a very difficult group,” said Del Bosque.
“Croatia have extraordinary players that play in the best teams in Europe and we saw their value in the last European Championships.”
Spain could become the most successful side in European Championships history with their fourth title if they can bounceback from the disappointment of being dumped out of the 2014 World Cup at the group stage to win the tournament for a third consecutive time.
“We go with the challenge to win a third consecutive European Championships. It would be extraordinary because no one has achieved it before,” added Del Bosque.
“We will try, but we know there are other excellent teams.”
Draw for Euro 2016 which was made on Saturday:
France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland
England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia
Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland
Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia
Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden
Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary
Note: Tournament being played in France from June 10-July 10, 2016
– Agence France-Presse