Spain's football coach Vicente del Bosque has warned his players that next summer they will have a tough time defending the crown they won in South Africa as the 2014 Brazil World Cup will be the "most difficult World Cup ever."
Speaking at an event in his home town of Salamanca on Saturday, Del Bosque discussed several issues, such as the excellent relationship between the players in his squad, as well as the challenge awaiting his men in Brazil next summer, reports Xinhua.
The Spanish travel to Brazil as reigning champions and were unbeaten in the qualifying campaign in which the only surprises were home draws against Finland and France.
As a result they are among the favourites to win next summer and compete what would be an incredible run of winning the 2008 European Championships, the 2010 World Cup and then the 2012 European Championship again.
However, Del Bosque, whose side defeated the Dutch 1-0 in the final four years ago in South Africa, knows winning next year will be a big task.
"There are 32 teams and only one of them can win," he said. "it is going to be the most difficult championship ever," commented the Spain coach who tried at the same time to lift some of the pressure from his side.
"Some people say that we are favourites, but we have gone from what was a disappointing past to a state of exaggerated optimism," he said.
One of the strengths of the squad is the good relationship between the majority of the players and the way players such as Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez have been able to maintain that positive feeling even during moments when relations between their respective clubs, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, have been strained.
"We have a fantastic group and we are able to pick Catalans, Basques, and Asturian, a Gallician... and there is no problem. It is extraordinary," said Del Bosque.
The Spain coach was evasive when asked about Brazilian, Diego Costa, who was named in the squad for recent friendly games against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, before pulling out with a muscle injury.
Many believe the fact Costa has rejected his homeland to play for Spain will lead to a more hostile reception for the Spanish side next summer from the Brazilian supporters.
"He wasn't there and they booed us in the Confederations Cup this summer," said Del Bosque. "We are talking about a competitor who has everything he needs to be with us," concluded the Spain coach.