Kiev: France forward Karim Benzema freely admits that Spain will be overwhelming favourites to progress when the two sides meet in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on Saturday.
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Les Bleus had been tipped by many as potential winners, but such confidence in Laurent Blanc`s team now looks horribly misplaced in light of Tuesday night`s 2-0 defeat by the already-eliminated Sweden in their final Group D fixture.
And Benzema conceded that serious improvement is required if they are to have any hope of progressing further this summer.
"We console ourselves with the qualification, but if we want to do something in this European Championship, we cannot reproduce this kind of performance," the Real Madrid hitman told reporters after their shock loss to the Swedes.
"Individually, there were not many who did well, except Hugo [Lloris] in goal. Against Spain, who are a team that come to play, we will have more space.
"But we should not kid ourselves. Spain will be favourites; they are one of the best teams in the world.
"The belief and the trust in one another is still there, but now we must rest and then quickly get back to work."
France`s mouth-watering match-up with La Roja will take place in Donetsk, and will kick off at 20:45CET.
First Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 09:29