Walters - Mission not impossible
Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters is fully aware of the size of the task posed by Spain.
By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF
Last Updated: 13/06/12 11:09pm
Republic of Ireland must avoid defeat by the world's best team, Spain, if they are to retain any hope of reaching Euro 2012's knockout stages and Jonathan Walters is fully aware of the size of the task.
In their first international finals for a decade, the boys in green always had a mountain to climb after being drawn in a difficult Group C alongside Vicente del Bosque's defending champions, Italy and Croatia.
The latter inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Ireland in their opening game and there has since been criticism of Giovanni Trapattoni's tactics, team selection and reportedly tiring training principles.
Having lost to a Mario Mandzukic-inspired Croatia, Ireland must avoid another setback against Spain, who have not been defeated in a competitive international since being shocked by Switzerland in their first game at the 2010 World Cup.
And Stoke striker Walters, who is in contention to start against Spain in place of Kevin Doyle, knows it is a tough but not impossible task.
He said in association with adidas: "Our group contains three very strong teams and we've seen in the last few tournaments just how good Italy and Spain are.
"Spain in particular are not European and world champions for nothing.
"They have a fantastic balance to their team. Their midfield, again, is so strong.
"When you have the combination of Xavi, (Xabi) Alonso and (Andres) Iniesta in the middle, the other team are not going to see much of the ball.
"So it's going to be a big focus for us to retain possession and try to hit them on the break."
Jonathan Walters wears the adidas Predator Lethal Zones which have five super-light (SL) rubber and memory foam 3-D zones, each designed to support perfect ball control. Visit www.adidas.com/football