France lost to the best team in the world: Benzema
Donetsk (Ukraine): Karim Benzema has stated that Spain are the best team in the world following France`s quarter-final exit from Euro 2012.
Xabi Alonso scored in both halves to send La Roja into the last four of the competition and set up a clash with Portugal, but while the French forward was aware of their opponents` strength, he believes they could still have won on the night.
"What evaded us this evening? Goals," Benzema said.
"We lost to the best team in the world. It was difficult, but we played well and had a great game.”
"We conceded a goal through their only genuine chance of the game. We are disappointed but pleased to have made the quarter finals. We are very disappointed, because we know we could`ve beat them.
"In certain instances, we were better than them, but this is football.
"It`s not a disappointment not to have scored. The only disappointment is that the team did not win, but we showed tonight that we are a good team."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was similarly despondent after the match, but hopes France use the defeat as a reference point for future.
"There is inevitable disappointment. We wanted to accomplish the feat, but we lacked spark in the final third," he added.
"But, there is nothing to be ashamed of, [Spain] were very strong. Now, we must use this performance to build for the future.”
"The choices of the coach? I didn`t discuss them. We tried a few things to help us adapt to our opponents` game, but this is normal.”
"I think we did well in limiting their chances in front of goal, but there is much to reproach to ourselves."
Adil Rami shared Karim Benzema`s view of the match, alluding to the opinion that his side had faced the world`s greatest outfit in their quarter-final tie.
"From my point of view, we performed pretty well defensively. It is true that we had some difficulties throughout the game, but we expected that," the Valencia centre-back said.
"I must say that we played against the best team in the world, even though Spain didn`t have that many chances, but when they had one they took it and that made the difference.
"There is nothing we can do about it. There`s nothing more to say – now - we`ll pack our bags and go back home.
"We can only congratulate Spain. The only regret we can have was our performance in the 2-0 defeat by Sweden. We have to move on and we shouldn`t be too down about our game against Spain."