Croatia captain Darijo Srna has blasted Spain by claiming 'biased' referees are making it easier for the holders at Euro 2012.
Srna and his Croatia team-mates caught the eye with a tactically astute performance against the European champions in their final Group C match on Monday.
For long periods of the clash, Spain failed to break down Slaven Bilic's disciplined team before substitute Jesus Navas scored the game's solitary goal.
However, Croatia felt they should have been awarded two penalties before Navas' goal and had it not been for the official, they would be in the knockout phase.
"We showed other teams how to play against Spain - but we forgot about the referee," Srna is quoted in the Daily Star.
"Spain have to change the way they play if they want to win the Euros. They found it difficult against Italy and us.
"We played better than Spain but the referee refused to give us two penalties. It's a very difficult moment for us.
"Referees don't respect us, although Croatia in the last six years has been among the best 10 teams in Europe.
"If they had the same situations for Spain, they would give a penalty.
"This is a problem for the smaller nations when they play Spain."
In the interest of fair play, the Shakhtar Donetsk defender believes the attitudes of the officials have to change at the competition.
He added: "I don't know what the other teams will have to do to beat them [Spain]. Maybe they will have to change the referee."