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Cesar Azpilicueta hopes Spain can emulate 2010 World Cup heroes

Cesar Azpilicueta hopes Spain can emulate 2010 World Cup heroes
© Reuters
The three-times winners sit in third place in Group E.

Cesar Azpilicueta has urged Spain to follow the example of their predecessors at the 2010 World Cup finals to get their Euro 2020 campaign back on track.

Luis Enrique's men head into their final Group E game against Slovakia in Seville on Wednesday sitting in third place after draws with Sweden and Poland and knowing there is little margin for error if they are to make it to the knockout stage.

However, having watched from afar as Spain fought back from a 1-0 opening defeat by Switzerland to win the World Cup in South Africa 11 years ago, Chelsea defender Azpilicueta is confident they can still make their mark.

He told a press conference: "What's required of us is to overcome these difficulties like the Spain squad did at the 2010 World Cup.

"I wasn't there, but we have to take that example and take the opportunities in front of us, meaning that we could finish top or second in the group.

"Every tackle, every pass, every chance needs to be treated like all or nothing. I think we will do it."

The Spaniards were held 0-0 by the Swedes in their opening fixture at La Cartuja despite dominating, and they had to make do with just a single point once again courtesy of Robert Lewandowski's equaliser five days later.

However, Azpilicueta insists there is little point in bemoaning their failings to date when they can still determine their own destiny.

He said: "Right now the situation is one that the Spain team has coped with in previous international tournaments.

"OK, this is a younger group, but the reality is that we have it in our hands. There's no point in wishing for six points when we don't have them."

A draw would be enough to send Slovakia, who launched their campaign with a win against Poland, into the last 16, but skipper Marek Hamsik, who played in a 2-1 European Championship qualifying victory over Spain in October 2014, knows that will be easier said than done.

Asked if he was surprised by their results to date, Hamsik said: "Of course. They were the favourites in our group and probably they themselves are surprised as well.

"But in football, you never know because every game is different. You always write a different story and tomorrow, it will be the same.

"Spain are the favourites. Everyone will expect their victory, but we will try to upset them. We need to get at least a point."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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