Spain players find their fitness

2014-06-04 11:30
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque (File)
Cape Town - Spain's players said Tuesday they'll be fit for the defense of their World Cup crown in Brazil, despite the rigors of a long club season.

Right back Juanfran is just one of the players on Vicente del Bosque's squad who have been nursing injuries, but he vowed he would be "100 percent" healthy and ready for Brazil.

"I don't have any problem, and I am 100 percent with the team," the Atletico Madrid defender told a press conference in Washington, where Spain will train prior to a Saturday friendly against El Salvador.

Juanfran suffered a sprained right ankle in the Champions League final that Atletico Madrid lost to Real Madrid on May 24.

The 29-year-old said he was limping in the wake of the painful injury, but insisted he was now recovered and had told Del Bosque: "When you need me, I'll be there and I'll do my best."

"I've had difficult moments in my career and I've overcome them – this is one more," he said.

Spain's squad includes seven players who competed in the Champions League final – the extra duty adding to physical wear and tear.

In a comparison of combined minutes played in 2013-14 by various World Cup-bound teams, the BBC calculated that based on predicted starting line-ups, Spain have played a 37 888 minutes.

That compares to 37 130 for Italy, 34 410 for England and 30 656 for hosts Brazil.

Midfielder Santiago Carloza doesn't think Spain will be any less ready than their opponents.

"The season has been tough for everyone. I don't think we are any more or less tired than the other teams," Carloza said, adding that Spain's squad is "physically better every day."

Juanfran also came out in defense of Spanish-Brazilian striker Diego Costa, who was included by Del Bosque in his final World Cup squad despite a nagging hamstring injury that limited him to just nine minutes in the Champions League final.

"He's great, and I'm convinced he will be one of the great players of the World Cup," Juanfran said of his Atletico teammate.

The Spanish squad arrived on Monday in Washington, which boasts the same humid conditions that they'll face in Brazil.

El Salvador, who didn't qualify for the World Cup, aren't expected to offer the reigning champions a searching test in Saturday's tune-up match, but they will be a big draw for the US capital's large Salvadoran community, thus making for a good game-day atmosphere.

Spain face Chile and Australia in World Cup Group B along with the Netherlands – the opponents in their 2010 World Cup final triumph.

They will open their campaign against the Dutch on June 13.

Read more on:    spain  |  international  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.