FIFA U17 World Cup: We are here to win the WC despite issues back home - Spain coach lays down marker ahead of Brazil clash
Clubbed alongside title favourites Brazil, DPR Korea and Niger, who defeated current FIFA U-17 champions, Spain will try to win the tournament for the first time with a group of very good players they have.
While Spain are an extremely gifted side with numerous technical players, their match on Saturday is against the title challengers Brazil. Spain coach Santiago Denia knows that this will be a difficult start to the tournament even though Brazil will miss their star player Vinicius Junior.
Denia said, "It is a difficult group, and it is important to win the first match to lift the confidence of the players to qualify to the next round."
The Spanish coach has no pressure for the tournament, as he reckons that it will be a beautiful experience winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time. However, he knows that the way to the trophy is very long and arduous.
When asked about the Catalonia issue, coach Santi said "No comments on that, the team is here to win the World Cup as a united country, and they only think about playing football." The team has got good a technical staff who help to unite the players, who have played a lot of matches together.
Denia has been with the team for a long time, and every year we see a new generation of players playing in the youth team. The coach said that all the success of the Spanish U-17 team has been the result of hard work. The Spanish team in India are the same group of players who won the UEFA U-17 Championship and they are now eyeing the FIFA U17 World Cup.
Defence was an issue for Spain at the U17 Euros conceding 7 goals in the tournament, the coach said that the team needs to improve on all aspects of the game if they need to win the World Cup: "To win the World Cup we need to improve in every aspect of the game and the technical staff are working hard on that."
The weather in Span is very different to that in Spain. The Spain team has been in India for four days and the physios and medical team are working on the issues of climate change, but the Spanish coach reckons that weather can't be an excuse for the match against Brazil.
Spanish captain Abel Ruiz said, "Brazil will miss Vinicius Junior as he is an important player to the team, but Brazil has many talented players and Spain needs to be prepared to face the challenge." Abel rounded up the press conference by saying that his favourite player in Spain is Real Madrid striker Álvaro Morata and favourite player is Neymar. A Spain-Brazil combo among his favourite players, but on matchday, nothing but Spain will matter to the Barcelona starlet.