The road to Brazil begins in Georgia: Del BosqueSeptember 10th, 2012 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Sep 10 (IANS) Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has warned his players that the defence of the World Cup that they won in South Africa in 2010 begins this Tuesday when they play Georgia in Tbilisi.
The road to Brazil 2014 begins in Georgia after Spain’s comfortable and convincing 5-0 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia Friday when a side made up of fringe players showed the depth of talent available for Del Bosque, reports Xinhua.
Del Bosque will bring stars such as Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta back into the starting 11 Tuesday night as he knows the importance of the opening qualifying match for the reigning world and European champion.
“The Brazil World Cup doesn’t start in 2014, it starts now against Georgia in Tbilisi,” said Del Bosque Monday.
“In order to defend the World Cup that Spain won in South Africa, first we need to get the ticket to Brazil. The players know we have a long and hard qualification stage ahead of us and we can’t allow ourselves to lose concentration, because any slip-up will be a problem for us,” continued the Spain coach.
Spain have the slight advantage of being in a five-team qualifying group and including Georgia they have to battle it out with France, Finland and Belarus for one direct qualification place for Brazil, which will go to the eventual group winner, and a spot in the play-offs for team that finishes second in the group.
France, who Spain beat 2-0 in Euro 2012 this summer, look to be the main rival and the destiny of the group could well be decided in the head to head games between the two sides, however dropped points away to sides such as Georgia could also be a key factor in who finishes first and second.
One big question will be whether or not Del Bosque puts his faith in Barcelona striker, David Villa. Villa replaced Fernando Torres as a substitute Friday and wasted little time in scoring the 52nd goal of his international career with a well-taken penalty.
Torres’ first touch looked poor Friday, but Villa’s lack of match fitness will probably mean the Chelsea forward will make his 101st appearance for Spain Tuesday with the Barca striker waiting on the bench.
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- Spain begin World Cup defence with hard fought win - Sep 12, 2012
- Del Bosque expected tough fight from Georgia - Sep 12, 2012
- Spanish coach to stay on till 2014 Football World Cup - Sep 08, 2011
- Spain to face Saudi Arabia in World Cup warm-up - Sep 06, 2012
- Bosque to name Spanish squad after May 25 - May 05, 2012
- Spain coach Del Bosque names Euro squad - May 27, 2012
- Euro 2012 Group C Preview: Ireland may decide who survive - Jun 05, 2012
- Coach Del Bosque recalls Torres and Mata in Spanish squad - May 22, 2012
- Alba lone new face in Spain's squad for Euro 2012 qualifiers - Sep 30, 2011
- Navas and Monreal back in Spain's squad for England, Costa Rica friendlies - Nov 08, 2011
- Del Bosque: Raul could go to Euro 2012 - Apr 14, 2012
- Easy win for Spain against Saudi Arabia - Sep 08, 2012
- Last chance for fringe players as Spain face Serbia - May 25, 2012
- After Europe, Spain now set to conquer the World (Group H team profile) - Jun 02, 2010
Tags: brazil 2014, destiny, euro 2012, european champion, fernando torres, group winner, iker casillas, international career, little time, play offs, qualifying group, saudi arabia, sergio ramos, striker, tbilisi, tuesday night, vicente del bosque, world cup, xavi hernandez, xinhua