French taught us a lesson in 2006 - Torres
Spain striker Fernando Torres said on Thursday he hoped the defending champions would make their experience count in the Euro 2012 quarterfinal with France on Sunday.
The 28-year-old - scorer of a double in the 4-0 hammering of Ireland in the group stage - admitted if they succeeded it would be what a more experienced French side did to the more fancied Spanish in the 2006 World Cup second round match.
The French side had been written off in the Spanish media in 2006 with them saying that their largely younger side would win to send 'Zidane and the other oldies into retirement' - in the end the French won 3-1.
"That day, France taught us a good lesson which helped us to grow up as a team, even if only a few players remain from that time," the Chelsea marksman wrote on his website.
"We will hope that this time, our experience will tilt the balance of the game in our favour."
Torres, who scored the only goal in the Euro 2008 final victory over Germany, said he expected Spain to prevail on Sunday, while praying the French repeat their poor performance in the 2-0 defeat by already eliminated Sweden on Tuesday.
"France are a great side who perhaps didn't have their finest day (against Sweden)," he said.
"We hope that against us they won't return to their best form, but if they do so we will be ready.
"These days, Spain, at its best, is very hard to beat," added the striker fondly known as "El Nino".