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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

image for Euro 2012: Spain ask UEFA for extended half-time siesta
A Spain fan with a hat two sizes too small for his head

European Champions and World Cup winners Spain, have asked UEFA to increase the half-time break in their semi-final against Portugal from 15 minutes to 60 minutes as they struggle to overcome tiredness.

The defending champs had to play their quarter-final against France on saturday, while semi-final opponents Portugal played their quarter-final against Czech Republic on Thursday. Spain coach Vincent Del Bosque claims his players are 'drained' and may subsequently make changes to his line up, including a spot for Fernando Torres.

Del Bosque confused many media and supporters alike in the group stages by playing without a recognised striker, in an unusual 4-6-0 formation. They qualified from the group with a 1-1 draw v Italy and wins over Republic of Ireland and Croatia.

Spain have not conceded a goal in the knock-out stages of tournaments for eleven matches, but will be facing an in-form Real Madrid striker Ronaldo who has the benefit of 48 hours more rest than the Spaniards who include many of his club team-mates.

A senior source inside the Spanish camp told our reporter today "Our players are exhausted, they all play for successful clubs and have had a long season. One or two may fall asleep during the game, a bit like during England matches - although that is generally supporters that fall asleep from their tactics"

The semi-final between Spain and Portugal kicks off Wednesday at 7.45pm

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