Arbeloa: There are no club rivalries in Spain squad

The 29-year-old defender stressed that there is a good rapport between the players in camp, while admitting that the team face a tough task at the European Championship
Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa insists that there is no tension in the Spain squad ahead of Euro 2012.

Los Blancos and Barcelona have been involved in a number of tense matches in the last two seasons, which has prompted fears that the animosity could spill over into the national team.

Spanish reports have suggested that Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos fail to see eye-to-eye, but Arbeloa says that club rivalries are put to one side when it is time to represent the Roja.

"We differentiate clubs from the national team," he told reporters at a press conference. "The relationship between players is good.

"If there are differences, we are here to solve them, and the atmosphere has been good so far."

Speaking ahead of Spain's Euro 2012 opener against Italy on Sunday, Arbeloa highlighted the importance of getting off to a good start in the competition.

"No one likes to lose the first match because that result leaves you without any leeway," he explained.

"It is better to start with a victory, and that is what we will try to do. We know it will be hard, but we are only thinking about winning the match.

"I do not think that we can say that Italy and Spain are already through to the quarter-finals.

"Croatia and Republic of Ireland are also great sides, with great players, and it will not be easy to beat them."