French defender Jeremy Mathieu has admitted Les Bleus do not possess the quality of Vicente del Bosque’s Spain team.
The Valencia player believes the world class players Del Bosque can call upon and their experience makes La Roja overwhelming favourites for Tuesday night’s clash at the Vicente Calderon.
However, Mathieu does not rule out the chances of the French causing an upset, although he acknowledges they will need to be at their very best to overcome the reigning World and European champions.
“We can only beat Spain if we take the game to them. If we go out onto the pitch thinking we are going to lose then they will crush us. The most important thing is that we believe in ourselves.
“France has quality but maybe we are lacking in experience, while the Spanish have both of these,” the 28-year-old told AS.
Mathieu, who has represented his country just once in a November 2011 friendly against the USA, says he has already spoken to Valencia teammate Adil Rami about the dangers posed by Spain.
“I told him before he left that the Spain forwards would cause him lots of problems. They have [Roberto] Soldado, [Fernando] Torres, [David] Villa, Cesc [Fabregas], Pedro, [David] Silva, [Santi] Cazorla…players who will cause France problems.”
In addition, he maintained that every single Spanish player commands his respect.
“I respect them all because they are all wonderful footballers. Look how many trophies they’ve won between them in the last few years.
“All of them play for the best teams in Europe. Spain are so good that you can’t leave any of them out,” he added.