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Spain's Ferran Torres has apologised for comments he made about Poland striker Robert Lewandowski before the two countries played one another in the Euro 2020 group stage.
Manchester City winger Torres said his side's defenders would "eat" prolific scorer Lewandowski in the match between the two nations, which ended 1-1.
Asked about the Bayern Munich striker, Torres had said ahead of the clash: “No, he does not worry us. Our central defenders will eat Lewandowski."
And despite the confidence-induced comments he did add the star is someone he looks up to, saying: "He has been a benchmark in terms of work, consistency and about knowing what you want.“
Robert Lewandowski's Poland crashed out of the Euros on Wednesday
(Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
However, after receiving backlash in some quarters for his comments, Torres has issued a public apology for the remarks, doing so after Spain secured their last-16 spot following their 5-0 victory over Slovakia.
He said: "I respect Lewandowski and all the forwards very much. He is a reference for me. If I offended someone I want to apologise."
Torres scored in the thundering display over Slovakia which also saw Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia score with two own goals by Martin Dúbravka and Juraj Kucka.
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The win should give Spain confidence heading into the knock-out round after shaky performances against Poland and Sweden.
Torres added their next match against Croatia will be "difficult".
"The team is calm and working well, trying to achieve the objectives," he added.
"The goal is a matter of time and in the end everything will pay off. We are calm from day one because we were working well and the reward had to come. We have to insist because on Monday we have a great final.
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"It is going to be a very difficult match against the world runners-up. We are aware that we will have to work hard and from there try to win."
"In a Euro Cup you have to take penalties, but it is not something that worries us because we are working on it and we will surely get them soon."
And Spain's manager Luis Enrique added he's relieved to go through.
He said: “It’s a relief of course – I don’t know about a liberation – but not just for me but in terms of what it means for our ability to achieve a convincing result via our style,” he told his post-match press conference.
“I believe people will have plenty of complaints but I really don’t think there can be any criticism of today."
While Spain did enough to go through, Lewandowski's Poland finished bottom of the group and crashed out.
Throughout the group stage they didn't register a win with their draw with Spain, a 2-1 loss to Slovakia and 3-2 defeat to Sweden.
The captain told TVP: "Of course it hurts. To be out of this tournament is a big loss for us. It's going to be hard to accept.
"You can't say we didn't have fighting spirit, ambition or determination. But there was something missing, the ability to win this match to keep on playing.
"But congratulations to the lads for trying, for battling. It wasn't enough."