Spain 'not clear favourites'
Gerard Pique (AFP)
Washington - Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said on Wednesday that Spain are not clear Soccer World Cup favourites, despite coming into the tournament as reigning champions and winners of the last two European Championships.
"We are not the clear favourites," Pique said at a press conference in the US capital, where Spain have been based since Monday.
He cited hosts Brazil, Argentina and Germany as genuine contenders to win the World Cup.
"In the World cup, anything can happen," said Pique, pointing to the example of Italy, whose 2006 World Cup triumph in Germany was followed by a disastrous 2010 campaign.
"The only difference between 2010 and 2014 for us is that perhaps some other teams have a little more respect for us."
The 27-year-old, who was sidelined by a hip injury in early April, said he was fine physically as Spain looked ahead to a final World Cup warm-up friendly against El Salvador on Saturday.
Spain will then travel to Brazil, where in Group B they will take on Chile, Australia and the Netherlands -- the team they beat in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.
Spain will open their campaign with a rematch against the Dutch on June 13.