Del Bosque expects more enjoyable World Cup

14 October 2013 09:31

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said on Monday he expects the 2014 World Cup to be a 'fun' experience for his side compared to an at times turgid qualification campaign.

The world champions need just a point at home to Georgia in Albacete on Tuesday to guarantee their place in next year's finals in Brazil.

However, despite negotiating a potentially tricky group that includes 1998 world champions France relatively comfortably, Spain have come in for some criticism for their inability to break down lesser sides in the group.

Indeed, their 12 goals in seven qualifiers to date makes them the lowest scoring European side to lead their qualification group.

But Del Bosque believes playing against more adventurous opponents in Brazil will aid his side to play better football.

"In this qualification group there have been four ugly, uncomfortable matches in which we haven't felt happy with the way we have played, but there were three where we played at a very good level," he said.

"It was just a few months ago, in Paris, in March, where we showed exactly what this team can do.

"The opponents want to keep their dignity. In the World Cup it won't be like this because the possession will be shared more.

"The teams that have already qualified are very strong and World Cups are a different thing. They are more open and fun."

Apart from merely sealing qualification, the match in Albacete will have a special meaning for local hero Andres Iniesta.

The man who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final hails from the village of Fuentealbilla in the region, where a statue has been built in his honour.

"When I found out that the match was going to be here I felt an immense happiness," he said.

"From now until the match finishes tomorrow the emotions will be very strong.

"I hope that the fans enjoy it to the maximum because the national team is not always here and it is not every day we can achieve qualification at home. It will be a wonderful experience."

However, the 29-year-old rejected suggestions that he should be made captain for the evening ahead of Iker Casillas or Barcelona teammate Xavi.

"This is not a friendly or a testimonial match, it is a very special game at a personal level because I am from here, but all our concentration needs to be on playing well and winning the match."

Del Bosque is expected to make a few changes from the side that laboured to a 2-1 win over Belarus on Friday.

Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo is expected to get his chance up front after Michu failed to impress on his international debut.

Real Sociedad centre-back Inigo Martinez could get his first experience of competitive action in a Spain jersey as Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are both struggling with minor injuries.

Source: AFP