‘It’s strange La Roja needs to qualify’

Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas admits he finds it strange that the reigning champions need to qualify for Brazil 2014.

Vicente Del Bosque’s team must still go through the group process alongside every other country bar the hosts, something the Real Madrid man finds unusual.

“Obviously it’s strange that the current world champions have not got their place reserved but that’s what has been decided,” Casillas told a Press conference.

“It could happen that Spain don’t get there and it would be very odd if the reigning champions were not able to defend their title, but other people have made the decision if it is okay or not that we qualify.”

La Roja are in Georgia where they will begin the defence of their title against the hosts in Tbilisi on Tuesday and Casillas feels it is vital his country gets off to a winning start.

“We need to get the three points because we have some important games coming up, so we have to beat Georgia as they have already got a win under their belt and we must hit the ground running.

“It would be very important if we could follow it up with another victory against Belarus before the game with France at the Vicente Calderon. It would be a good way to keep us on track.”

However, Casillas says he just wants to concentrate on the Georgia game for now.

“The most important game is the one tomorrow. We know about their goalkeeper, who was great in their last game, and we are also aware of Jano Ananidze and Levan Mchedlidze, who are very good players I can assure you.”

Finally, Casillas promised that Spain would not be changing the style of play that has been so successful over the past few years, saying that any new players coming in would need to adapt.

“The national team has had its own style for a long time. That will remain and I don’t think we’ll be altering it.

“If other players arrive then they’ll have to get used to it,” he concluded.

Tags Casillas Spain