Spain head coach, Vicente del Bosque, has admitted that his side are feeling the strain from playing so many games in quick succession. The defending European champions recently booked their place in the semi-finals with a victory against France.
The Spanish will have just three days before they take on Portugal in their last-four clash, which will no doubt take it out of a squad that looked jaded during their victory against the French.
While Spain controlled nearly every aspect of their 2-0 victory, thanks to a brace from Xabi Alonso, the pace of the game was played at walking pace, as both sides began to tire.
Portugal will go into the semi-final against Spain with an extra two days’ rest, which could level the playing field, in a game that del Bosque’s men are heavy favourites for in the football betting.
While the Spain boss has admitted that his side had been tired against France, he highlighted just how dominant his team had been through the whole match.
“We have arrived very drained because the heat we suffered tonight was cruel on the players.
“The truth is, we did well and controlled the game, despite being tired. Iker Casillas hardly had anything to do and that speaks of the good defensive performance of the team.
"If our defenders are good, then we will be closer to winning the tournament because we will always create a chance."
Despite losing defensive rock, Carles Puyol, before the tournament, Sergio Ramos and Gerrard Pique have been impressive in Spain’s progression to the semis, much to the delight of live football fans.
While much is made of the creative threat that Spain bring, a defence that has kept 11 clean sheets from 14 games could well mean the difference between the Spanish retaining and losing their title.