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Spain hungry for 3rd straight Euro victory, says Fabregas

Football Soccer - UEFA European Championship 2016 - Spain training session Las Rozas, Spain - 04/06/16 – Spain’s Cesc Fabregas. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho
Football Soccer - UEFA European Championship 2016 - Spain training session Las Rozas, Spain - 04/06/16 – Spain’s Cesc Fabregas. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

MADRID (Reuters) - Reigning champions Spain are hungry to hold onto their title at the European Championship that kicks off this week, midfielder Cesc Fabregas said, but admitted there was no clear favourite.

Two years on from their early exit at the World Cup, Spain have a chance in France to regain their reputation as the best in Europe if they can repeat the winning performance of the last two Euros.

"There's a good feeling in the camp," the Chelsea midfielder said on the Spanish Football Federation website.

"I see everyone with a lot of hunger and will to do something big. Between all of us, we need to take a step forward and bring the Cup where it belongs for a third straight time."

Spain are eager to use Euro 2016 to distance themselves from their abysmal showing in Brazil in 2014 where as defending world champions they crashed out in the first round.

They are among the favourites this time, with bookmaker William Hill offering odds of 5-1, behind Germany at 4-1 and the top tip France at 3-1.

"I don't see a clear favourite but I don't give importance to that," Fabregas said.

"It doesn't matter if we are favourites. We have to face the games with the maximum seriousness because everyone wants to beat Spain. We have to give our best."

Spain launch their title defence on June 13 in Toulouse against the Czech Republic. They also have Group D games against Turkey and Croatia.

Fabregas, who has earned 105 caps for Spain since his debut in 2006, believes a good start is imperative. At the World Cup, the Netherlands beat them 5-1 in their opener.

"It's important to play a good (first) game and win in order for the group to build confidence," the 29-year-old midfielder said.

Even so, Spain showed in 2010 a team can bounce back from an early setback. They lost their first game to Switzerland 1-0 but still won the title.

(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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