Del Bosque: We are not afraid

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has dismissed suggestions his side are past their best as they attempt to win a fourth consecutive major tournament at the World Cup.

Last Updated: 12/06/14 at 20:30 Post Comment

Vicente del Bosque: Spain coach dishes out his instructions on the training grou

Vicente del Bosque: Spain coach dishes out his instructions on the training grou

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The world champions get their Brazilian campaign under way against the Netherlands on Friday in Salvador in a repeat of the final four years ago in South Africa which was decided by Andres Iniesta's solitary goal in extra-time.       

"We have a mature team and young players. We are not afraid of anything and we are in our prime," said Del Bosque. 

"I don't have any fear for the future either because we have an under-21 team that are winning things and there are plenty of replacements that will ensure a bright future."                 

Del Bosque could name a starting line-up containing just one change to the side that started the Euro 2012 final against Italy, but the Netherlands are a much-changed outfit in recent years with coach Louis Van Gaal introducing a number of young, inexperienced players.                 

However, it is the more experienced trio of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben that concerns Del Bosque.                 

"A lot has changed in four years. We have had a relatively stable side since 2010, but Van Gaal has stimulated them a lot and conserved the essence of Dutch football. We know that up front they have very dangerous players," he said.    

Midfielder Xavi Hernandez also highlighted the danger of the Dutch front three, but is hoping Spain's normal dominance of possession will snuff out their threat.                 

"They have three very experienced players up front. They will sit in and then look for very quick counter-attacks. We know Spain will have more of the ball,” he said.                 

"That is our style and we know we will live or die by it. Hopefully it will allow us to make history."                 

Captain Iker Casillas is also confident of becoming the first side since Brazil in 1962 to retain the World Cup.                 

"We will try to repeat what we did in South Africa. We have the role of favourites and we know all the other teams want to beat Spain,” he said.               

"We are motivated to win a second star on our shirt for our country.

“Spain have been the best team in the world for the past four years and, if we have the humility and ambition that we did in South Africa, the team will be strong and have a clear chance of defending the title."

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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