MADRID: Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso said on Tuesday he believed two-time winners France and England could do really well at the European Championship, which kicks off in Warsaw on June 8.
The 30-year-old -- an integral part of Real Madrid's Primera Liga title win last season -- said it would be foolish to underestimate the French and the English at the tournament which is being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine and runs till July 1.
"France and England are in that bunch of teams who are capable of going far," said Alonso, a member of both the Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup winning sides.
"They are part of that group because of the players they have and their respective histories.
"They have this competitive instinct and even if they aren't talked about much with respect to this competition, they are more than able to attain their target (of winning it)," added Alonso, who has won over 90 caps since making his debut in 2003.
Alonso, who had a successful spell at Liverpool with the highlight the Champions League win in 2005, admitted that the season just past had left him and his teammates exhausted but they had recovered since.
"The season in terms of club competitions was really intense," said Alonso referring to their successful battle to unseat bitter rivals Barcelona as champions while they also reached the Champions League semi-finals.
"We had to battle till the end in order to achieve our target, but we have had time to disconnect and because of that I feel fine personally."
Spain are due to fine-tune their preparations for Euro with two more warm-up matches -- they beat Serbia 2-0 last Saturday -- against South Korea (yesterday) in Bern, Switzerland, and China in Seville on Sunday.
The Spanish will then fly to Poland on June 5 and play all their group games in Gdansk, against Italy on June 10, then Ireland on June 14 and round off their group games against 2008 quarter-finalists Croatia on June 18. AFP