Hitzfeld: Spain exit is bad
Ottmar Hitzfeld (AFP)
Salvador - Defending champions Spain's shock group stage exit from the World Cup is not good for the tournament, Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has said on Thursday.
The Swiss face France in Friday's Group E clash in Salvador, but Hitzfeld, who in the 2010 finals guided his Swiss side to a surprise opening match win over the Spanish, said he is sad to see Spain take an earlier than expected plane home.
Spain's 2-0 defeat to Chile on Wednesday means Vicente del Bosque's side could no longer finish in the top two in their group having been thrashed 5-1 in their opening match by the Netherlands.
Hitzfeld, who said before the tournament started he thought it almost impossible for a European team to win the title, said it was a shame that such a great side as Spain would play no part in the knockout stages.
"I have great admiration for Mr Del Bosque and I am sorry for him that Spain are on their way home," said German-born Hitzfeld.
"Spain have dominated world football with some fantastic play and them being eliminated is not good for the World Cup.
"I wish they had stayed on and qualified for the last 16."
Spain will fly home after their final match against Australia on Monday when both sides will exit the tournament.