Panama Coach Julio Cesar Dely Valdes has lauded Wednesday’s opponents Spain as the greatest team ever.
The reigning World and European champions take on Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez in what is the most important game to have ever been staged in the Central American country.
“Personally I think Spain are the best team in history because of what they have done. I’ve never seen a national team play this way,” admitted Dely Valdes in an interview with EFE Radio.
“They can certainly win the World Cup in 2014 because they have new, young, quality players coming through such as Jordi Alba, who is maintaining the good level the team plays at.
“The key to Spain’s success is reflected in what the members of the squad say, that the most important thing is the group.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain, Real Oviedo and Malaga player also spoke of the significance of the game for a country such as Panama.
“It’s a very big event and we are all excited to have the Spanish national team here. Spain are responsible for where they play and the whole world wants to watch them because of the titles they have deservedly won, so they must defend them in the best possible way.”
However, he refused to predict the outcome of the encounter.
“It is very difficult to give a prediction. This match is a prize for us and we have to enjoy it. Having the best national side in history here is not something that happens every day”
The 45-year-old also spoke of the two Spanish clubs he represented in his 19-year career, who are experiencing differing fortunes at the moment, with Oviedo struggling financially and Malaga playing in this season’s Champions League.
“It’s a shame for Oviedo but they are getting some help and I hope they can get out of this situation.
“As for Malaga, I think they can progress in the Champions League. The team is stronger than when we played in the EUFA Cup against Leeds United and won against all odds.
“In La Liga they are doing well despite losing the last two games and I’m very happy for them, as I still have friends at the club.
“I was there for five years, three as a player and two as a Coach,” he added.