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Torres issues warning to quarter-final rivals

The European holders secured their passage to the quarter-finals by winning Group C and face a testing tie against France on Saturday.

With the knockout stage set to begin on Thursday, Torres is hopeful that favourites Spain can regain their form in Poland and Ukraine that has seen them unbeaten in 17 competitive matches.

"We have not played at the level that Spain can reach and we have to try to be better in the next game. Spain has to return to her level," he said.

Despite topping the group with seven points, Spain have been unable to showcase their footballing talents during the tournament and many have questioned their credentials in retaining the coveted trophy.

Many teams, including Croatia and Italy, have tried to adopt the Chelsea-style approach - which secured them the Champions League trophy - and counter-attack Spain.

Although not ideal, Chelsea striker Torres has admitted that the tactic is hard to break down and feels many sides may try and adopt this approach against them.

"It's a way of playing, maybe not one that would suit every side but it is a way of trying to win," he added.

"It was a very intelligent approach from Croatia. We were in a game against a team with their central midfielders playing very deep, denying us space to play the final ball.

"Their plan was to remain compact and then try and play on the counter attack."

By Matt Maltby