MADRID, Jan 1 (IANS): Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has a New Year�s wish to see his country retain the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
�There are very good teams and very good players who will be complicated rivals. The small advantage that Spain has is that we are a team beyond the great individual players that we have,� said del Bosque, reports Xinhua.
�We are in the era of players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and also Frank Ribery. They are star players but 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, who has suffered some physical problems this season, along with Carles Puyol, who is trying to get back to his best after a serious knee problem, and Iker Casillas, who is a second choice in goal for his club Real Madrid in La Liga although he is playing in the knockout competitions � Copa del Rey and Champions League.
�The important thing is that he 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, who also showed his support for Atletico Madrid�s Brazilian born striker Deigo Costa who is having a fantastic season in Spain and looks certain to be at the World Cup.
�He is different. He can play as a striker and 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.
�There is still half a season 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 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.
Del Bosque also talked about at Holland, Chile and Australia, who will be Spain�s rivals in the group state of the World Cup.
�They are very strong. Chile is a real team with attitude and talent and which knows how to compete. They play street football and will be hard to beat while Holland are more orthodox and the fact that they have never beaten Australia, tells us a lot about Australia as well,� he concluded.