Del Bosque respectful of lowly Tahiti
By Football News
Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque has insisted his team will prepare to play underdogs Tahiti just like they would for any other team.
Fans will flock to the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, expecting Spain, the reigning world and European champions, to destroy the French Polynesian minnows, who are ranked 137 positions below Del Bosque's team on the FIFA rankings.
Tahiti were thumped 6-1 by Nigeria in their opening game of the FIFA Confederations Cup, while Spain overcame Uruguay 2-1, but Del Bosque said he has not allowed his players to take it easy in the lead-up to their clash with the Oceania Nations Cup champions.
"We have prepared like we would for any other game," Del Bosque said on Wednesday.
"Get ready, know our game plan and study our rivals that we are going to have in front of us.
"We want to play good football and to win the game."
Spain, who also won the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, were very impressive in their opening match of this year's tournament in Brazil, controlling 71 percent of possession against Uruguay and taking 16 shots to six.
While the likes of midfielder Xavi Hernandez, central defender Gerard Pique and goalkeeper Iker Casillas are some of the best players in their positions in the world, Spanish playmaker Andres Iniesta believes teamwork is the key to Del Bosque's side.
"Against Uruguay it was not just me who played well, the whole team worked very well during most of the game, and I was comfortable and fine," Iniesta said.
"But always I am trying to play the same, it is always the aim of the team.
"For one person to do his best, (he) needs the whole team behind (him), so in that sense it was a great start."
Iniesta also paid tribute to the Spanish Under-21 national team, who won their second European title in succession at the UEFA U21 Championships in Israel over the weekend.
"That means that all the things from the base are doing well and that it is important," Iniesta said.
"But obviously the players of the under 21s, some of them have been here (with the senior team), and sooner or later will be here, but the talent and their quality is very high.
"The people of Spain and the people who like football we really enjoy watching them, and we know that the players are coming behind us and the new generation is guaranteed."