By Simon Evans
DONETSK (Reuters) - Midfielder Andres Iniesta says Spain are not going to change their style and believes the lack of entertainment in their games is due to opponents setting out purely to defend against the world champions.
Spain's performance against France in their 2-0 quarter-final win was viewed in many quarters as lacking in attacking intent with their possession football failing to provide much in the way of a spectacle.
But Iniesta says their short-passing possession game, which has brought a European Championship and World Cup triumph, won't be abandoned.
"We have our own style, our own game which has brought us success. We have won two trophies with this style but any opinions are valid and I respect them," he said ahead of Wednesday's semi-final with Portugal at the Donbass Arena.
"This is the method that brought us success - we can't forget that a few years back, we changed the history of Spanish football nor can we forget the way that we did it," he said.
Iniesta suggested the lack of excitement was largely to do with the way opponents have clammed up against Spain.
"Once you have a team that always attacks but you attack against a closed defense of an opposition who don't leave you spaces, of course it is not as attractive as an open match with two teams that want to win," he said.
But the Barcelona wide-man rejected the notion that criticism showed a lack of respect for Spain's achievements.
"No. Football is great in this respect, not everyone likes the same thing, not everyone can agree on everything and a diversity of opinion is what makes it special," he said.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said the team's record, with the Euro 2008 triumph followed by World Cup success two years later spoke for itself.
"We don't want to stagnate, we want to go forward but winning two trophies has been proof of our qualities.
"So we look to play in our style, people don't like it but it is our style - people have to complain about something," he said.
Portugal's approach has been based around a fast counter-attacking game, mainly through wingers Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, and Del Bosque said he expected Wednesday's opponents to play in the same fashion again.
"They are very stable, they have stuck with the same starting lineup and don't except any change except for (the injured striker Helder) Postiga.
"They are stable and their coach (Paulo Bento) really knows what he is doing. We will see if they do something new but I'm expecting the same Portugal we saw in the other four games," he said.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)