Spain’s coach Del Bosque cautious after World Cup draw

Madrid, Dec 7: Spain’s coach Vicente del Bosque reacted diplomatically after the draw for the FIFA 2014 World Cup finals.

The reigning World Champions will face the Netherlands, who they defeated in the 2010 World Cup final, along with an always combative Chile and Australia and will kick off the defence of their trophy against the Dutch, reports Xinhua.

It is hard to predict what will happen after the group stage but if the sides live up to their seedings, Spain could theoretically face Croatia in the last 16, Portugal in the quarter-finals and Argentina in the semi-finals in what would be a tremendously complicated route to the final.

“It is going to be difficult but we will try and win the World Cup again although there are some very strong rivals,” said Del Bosque immediately after the draw Friday.

Group D, which includes England, Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay and Group G with Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the USA look to be more difficult than Spain’s, which Del Bosque admitted.

“I don’t know if I can call it a ‘group of death,’ because there are other groups which are very strong but I have to say it is difficult,” he said, admitting that he had expected history to play a small joke on Spain and see them kick off their defence against the Netherlands.

“I mentioned it to those close to me, I thought we were going to play Holland and in the first match,” he said, adding that Chile would be complicated rivals.

“They play football which is very uncomfortable for their rivals, they have a style which pressures you a lot and it is very solid. Maybe Holland have changed more but they still have Robben, (Wesley) Sneijder, Rafael Van der Vaart and Robin Van Persie, but they have altered in defence.

Australia are a bit of an unknown as they have less well known players but they will be rivals to take seriously,” said Del Bosque, who added that his side needed to win their group otherwise they would run the risk of facing hosts Brazil in the last 16.

“We will have to prepare from the very first day and maybe for that reason it is better to face Holland. It will be better for our mentality,” he concluded.

IANS