Juanfran believes Spain will reach Euro 2012 final

The Atletico Madrid defender remains hopeful that he will be able to feature in the tournament and expects Franck Ribery to pose a threat in their quarter-final against France
Spain defender Juanfran believes that his country will reach the final of Euro 2012.

The defending champions escaped the group stage with seven points from three matches and will now lock horns with France on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals.

Juanfran has not yet played a single minute at the tournament, but he thinks that he will still have plenty of chances to prove himself in Poland and Ukraine.

"I would like to play more," he told reporters at a press conference. "I respect Alvaro Arbeloa and the decisions of coach Vicente del Bosque.

"I think that my chance could come. I am prepared to help the team and since I believe we will reach the final, I still have three chances in three different matches.

"But Arbeloa is a team-mate of mine and he has been playing very well, so I will defend him to the death."

The 27-year-old then warned his team against underestimating Franck Ribery, who in his opinion will be France's main threat in Saturday's match.

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"Even if you man-mark him closely, Ribery can be determinant at any moment," Juanfran noted. "He is one of France's most important players.

"I hope he will not have a good day against us and that we will defend very well because they are very dangerous in attack."

Asked if he would like to see Karim Benzema play for Spain as a No. 9, Juanfran insisted that he prefers the strikers who are part of his country's 23-man squad.

"I would choose the strikers that we have," the Atletico Madrid defender added. "There are no strikers like the ones we have.

"We respect France in every aspect: style, players and tradition. It will be very hard to beat them."