World Cup 2010: Spain must cope with expectations, says Roberto Martinez

05 June 2010 08:14
The European champions have a squad that is the envy of many and are widely regarded as one of the favourites to win the World Cup in South Africa.

Spaniard Martinez who will be working as a pundit in South Africa during the competition is confident his country have the talent to beat whoever they come up against, but is unsure how they might be affected by the pressure of their top billing.

 Related ArticlesTorres in trainingFabregas to start for Spain; Torres must waitSpain reign in AustriaNavas delighted to score his first for SpainVicente Del Bosque hopeful over Fernando TorresSpain's Albiol believes late wins are a positive signAsked if he felt Spain could win the World Cup, Martinez said: ''Yes, and I think we would all agree that Spain have found a way to play and they are a little bit different to any other team.

''(But) probably what is new is that now they are favourites, and Spain have never been favourites in a big football event.

''Obviously they won the European Championships, but now going to the World Cup, how are they going to cope with that pressure of expecting to win football games and progress in the competition?

''That could be their biggest problem. I don't think on the pitch, on a football level, they will have many problems to deal with other sides and nations.

''But I think the mental side is going to be the big, big subject for Spain to be successful.''

One player in Spain's squad likely to have plenty on his mind is Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who has been the subject of a bid from boyhood club Barcelona.

Fabregas has vowed to put thoughts about his future to one side until after the World Cup, but Martinez believes the transfer speculation surrounding the 23-year-old could boost his performance in South Africa.

''Knowing the way Cesc Fabregas is, which is a magician and an artist, I think when there is that sort of hype in the media about him, it will help him,'' Martinez said.

''It makes him feel good, appreciated and wanted and that is the way Cesc performs at his best.

''I think it will be the best World Cup Cesc could play in and if you look at the games Spain have had so far, I think Cesc has been gaining in that important role in the squad.

''They have players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, even Javi Martinez big players in that team.

''But Cesc Fabregas has been growing in his role and I feel he is going to have a massive say in Spain's success.''

On top of his media work, Martinez will be keeping a look out for potential new signings for Wigan at the World Cup.

''I'm going to the World Cup and we are going to see a few players,'' Martinez said.

''I think it is important that you sign the right characters and the right personalities.

''Anyone can spot a good player, but it is all the other ingredients that allows you to be successful for Wigan Athletic.

''It is a large list in terms of names and it will carry on in that way until we make a signing.''

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Source: Telegraph