BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Spanish hero Xabi Alonso has described Wednesday's Euro 2012 semi-final with Portugal as "life and death".
The Real Madrid midfielder scored both goals in a 2-0 quarter-final defeat of a lack-lustre French side on the night he won his 100th cap for Spain.
Alonso said: "The team was phenomenal and personally I am very satisfied with the two goals.
"We didn't have that many chances but we completely controlled the match."
Looking ahead to the meeting with old rivals Portugal in Donetsk the former Liverpool star said: "The most important step is the next one.
"Portugal have forwards who can cause problems for us and above all the two wingers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, are superb players.
"We know Cristiano perfectly and he has been playing at an incredible level all season at Real Madrid.
"Maybe before the game there will be a warmer greeting than usual because he's your club team-mate, but in the end you are going to be fighting your own corner.
"We are now in the semis and of course all the games at this stage are life and death."