Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has a New Year’s wish to see his country retain the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Del Bosque knows that it will be tough task for Spain to retain the title that won in 2010 in South Africa, reports Xinhua.
“There are very good teams and very good players who will be very complicated rivals,” said Del Bosque in an interview with sports paper, Diario AS.
“The small advantage that Spain has is that we are a team beyond the great individual players that we have,” he said, giving an example of the importance of teamwork.
“We are in the era of players such as Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and also Frank Ribery and they are star players, but that have won nothing with their national teams and will be hungry to change that in Brazil,” said Del Bosque, who highlighted Argentina, Portugal and France as dangerous rivals for the coming summer.
Del Bosque spoke about some of Spain’s key players, such as midfielder, Xavi Hernandez, defender Carlos Puyol and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who was the skipper in South Africa.
Xavi has suffered injuries this season while Puyol is also trying to get back to his best after a serious knee problem. Casillas has lost his No.1 position in Real Madrid and in the Primera Liga but is playing in the knockout competitions, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
“The important thing is that he (Casillas) is playing and if he were not doing well his coach would not give him as much responsibility in the Champions League. Iker is not a worry for us,” said Del Bosque.
Del Bosque also showed his support for Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian born striker Deigo Costa, who is having a fantastic season in Spain and who looks certain to be picked for World Cup.
“He is different. He can play as a striker, but he can also push forward from midfield or from either wing and as well as goals, he also gives us a lot of energy,” said the Spain coach, who insisted he was keeping an eye on all Spanish players.
“There is still half a season to be player and a lot of games to be played, so I am watching everyone. We are six months from the World Cup and the rest of the season will serve to clear up doubts and confirm opinions.”
“We are watching everyone, not just those who play in Spain, but also those who are playing in Italy, England and Germany. All of them are playing at the top level,” he insisted.
As 2010 runners-up the Netherlands, Chile and Australia, who will be Spain’s rivals in the group stage, Del Bosque said it will be a tough fight in the group stage.
“They are very strong and Chile is a real team which attitude and talent and which know how to compete. They play ‘street football,’ and will be hard to beat, while Holland are more orthodox and the fact they have never beaten Australia tells us a lot about Australia as well,” he concluded.