Aragones backs Spain to retain Euro crown

Former Spain coach Luis Aragones is confident his country will retain their European Championship crown next year despite recent friendly defeats against England and Italy.

The world and European champions won every game in qualifying for Euro 2012 and will go into the tournament as heavy favourites but eyebrows were raised after they were beaten 1-0 by a depleted England team on Saturday.

This follows a 2-1 defeat to Italy in August, while Iberian rivals Portugal thrashed Spain 4-0 almost a year ago.

"I think the team is able to win [the Euros] again if we have the motivation, if we have the winning mentality," Aragones told the Aspire4Sport conference in Doha.

The former Atletico Madrid coach led Spain to the 2008 European Championship title, the country's first major international honour since 1964, while successor Vicente del Bosque oversaw last year's World Cup triumph.

"England were better than us and that's why they won and this is football. I think Spain is always at a high level in any competition," added Aragones.