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Do not take US for mugs, warns Xabi.

Byline: Tom Hopkinson

XABI ALONSO is warning England to learn from Spain's mistake and not take the USA for granted.

The Yanks - England's opening - game rivals in South Africa - are the only team to have beaten the Spaniards in the past two years.

They stunned the World Cup favourites 2-0 in last year's Confederations Cup where they were hugely impressive. They not only ended Spain's 35-game unbeaten run but came within a whisker of beating Brazil in the final.

Former Liverpool ace Alonso reckons any complacency from Fabio Capello's side will spell trouble against the Americans.

He said: "Our defeat against the USA was a bad one for many reasons.

"We learned a lot from that day and I warn England that the USA will not be easy rivals.

"They have an athletic squad and move the ball quickly. If they are allowed to get into a match they can cause big problems for any opposition.

"England need to avoid being too confident against them."

Serious Real Madrid midfielder Alonso still believes England have a good chance of glory, particularly with his old Merseyside pals Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in the side.

But he remains confident that his Spain side will take some beating.

He added: "The World Cup is always an open competition and England have a serious chance. My bet is Spain, but England can go very far.

"Gerrard is a key player for Liverpool and England, and with Stevie functioning at 100 per cent, the team is very dangerous.

"Carra will also strengthen the defensive line with his experience.

"I don't think there will be any surprises at this World Cup.

"The champions will be from Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and England."

Alonso refused to be drawn on reports that new Real boss Jose Mourinho wants to reunite him and Gerrard at the Bernabeu next season.

He said: "I've worked alongside Gerrard and it's clear to see he is Liverpool through and through.

"I don't think it would be easy for him to leave Anfield, but he has the quality to play for a team like Real Madrid."

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BEWARE: Xabi Alonso warns England
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 30, 2010
Words:360
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