CAPE TOWN - Spain midfielder
looks to have recovered sufficiently from a sprained ankle to
feature against neighbours Portugal in Tuesday's World Cup last
16 showdown, according to coach Vicente del Bosque.
Alonso damaged the ankle in
Friday's 2-1 win over Chile and
had to be replaced midway through the second half by Javi
Martinez but Del Bosque said he had completed a training session
at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium on Monday.
"He trained well," Del Bosque
told a news conference. "Maybe
tomorrow his ankle will be swollen, we'll have to wait and see,"
he added. "But I think he is in good enough shape to play."
Spain and Portugal, ranked
second and third in the world
respectively behind Brazil, have never met at a World Cup
tournament and the winner of Tuesday's clash will play either
Paraguay or Japan in the quarter-finals.
Beyond that, Argentina or
Germany await in the last four.
Del Bosque batted away the
inevitable question about
Portugal's former World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo,
saying the European champions were not obsessed with how to
"The most important thing is to
focus our attention on the
Portuguese team as a whole," he said.
"They have proved in both
defence and attack that they are a very complete side.
"Thanks to the hard work of
their coach (Carlos Queiroz)
they have arrived at this World Cup in top condition."
Spain left back Joan Capdevila,
who will have Ronaldo
bearing down on him on Tuesday, said the best way to stop the
forward was by working as a team.
"When you are up against
someone like that, one of the best
in the world with the speed that he has, it's tough," he told an
earlier news conference.
"He'll be roving around the
whole offensive area and our
four defenders will have to be on their guard.
"We'll have to watch out for
him and the other players
following behind who are also dangerous."
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