Albiol denies Spain pact with Croatia

The two sides meet on Monday knowing that a 2-2 draw would see both progress to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals at the expense of Italy, but the defender says there is no agreement
Spain defender Raul Albiol insists there is no pact in place to draw with Croatia ahead of the two sides' Euro 2012 Group C fixture on Monday.

Both teams are currently on four points and a score draw of 2-2 or higher would see both qualify for the quarter-finals ahead of Italy, regardless of the result between the Azzurri and the Republic of Ireland.

The situation mirrors Euro 2004 - where the Italians were knocked out following a draw between Denmark and Sweden - but Albiol denies any collusion between the sides.

"The 2-2 will be a possible score, but so is a 1-0 or a 0-1," he told reporters. "We will play for the victory and so will Italy and Croatia.

"We all want to depend on ourselves and we all play to win. There is no pact and there won't be a fixed 2-2. Each team will play to win."

The Real Madrid centre-back also gave his thoughts on a potential meeting with England in the last eight, and said Roy Hodgson's side would be tough opposition despite their past failures.

"We know England. We played a friendly recently against them and we have seen their games so far. We can face them in the quarter-finals, but we are playing first against Croatia to qualify," he added.

"If we happen to play against England then it will be a competitive team with great players. [They are] a tough rival, even though they haven't been brilliant sometimes."