Defending World Cup Champions Spain were handily beaten by Brazil in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup last year, but Spanish defender Sergio Ramos is confident that his side can reclaim its position as the best in international football.
Brazil stamped themselves as the clear favourites for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with their outstanding performance against Spain and Ramos admits that he and his Spanish teammates were humbled by the impressive effort of the Brazilians in the final of the tournament.
Ramos told AFP that he is looking forward to play in his third World Cup, with Spain kicking off their campaign against The Netherlands on Saturday morning, and said that his side is excited to have the opportunity to avenge their disappointing Confederations Cup defeat.
“We’ve already been in Brazil for the Confederations Cup and football always gives you a chance for revenge after you get this little thorn in your side,” Ramos said.
“We’re the champions, there’s high expectation and it’s always possible but winning a World Cup is very difficult.
“It’s always a dream to play in a World Cup and to do so in Brazil, who have a very prestigious team that has always made a difference and always been favourites, you dream about wearing your country’s jersey and playing in a World Cup, and all the more if it’s in Brazil.”
While Ramos is confident that Spain are ready for a big tournament, he said that Spain will be just be taking it one game at a time during the 2014 World Cup and admits that they will need to be at their best to get out of a tough group that includes The Netherlands, Chile and Australia.
“The most important thing is to make the most of the World Cup,” Ramos said.
“First up there are three excellent teams in Holland, Chile and Australia before we can start thinking about the second round, quarter-finals, semi-finals or final.
“We have to take it one game at a time, which is what will guide us to success, that alongside humility and hard work.
We’re prepared to face the best in the world, which is what gives you prestige.”
Spain are currently on the fourth line of the Ladbrokes.com.au 2014 FIFA World Cup betting market at a quote of $7.50, and are available at odds of $1.80 to defeat The Netherlands in their opening World Cup fixture at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Saturday morning (AEST).
Spain go on to play Chile in their second fixture at Estadio do Marcana in Rio de Janeiro on June 18 before taking on Australia at Arena da Baixada at Curitiba on June 23.