Sergio Ramos has reflected that Spain having to qualify for the next World Cup despite being defending champions is a good thing.
La Roja lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2010, but must run through a European section qualification route in order to try and defend their trophy in Brazil in 2014.
Approaching this week’s crucial double-header in Group I against Finland and France, Ramos reflected on the situation.
“These are the rules, which are not new,” the centre-back commented in an interview with AS.
“At the time, if I was offered being world champion in exchange for having to qualify for the next tournament then I would have taken it.
“Moreover, this situation is the reality. Because it shows that we cannot live in the past. Whilst it is nice to be champions, we have to along the right path so as to defend the title.
“So it’s good to have earn a spot at the World Cup, even if we are the champions.
“The risk of play-offs? It is the norm and the same for everyone. We have to face the matches with Finland and France with humility, but humility is what has made this Seleccion great.”
Ramos is set to earn his 100th cap for Spain in his next appearance and become the youngest centurion for the country.
“The feeling is of great pride and great responsibility. It is difficult to achieve at my age, but it is luck that I debuted so young and have had Coaches who have trusted in me.
“To be the youngest is a record that I am proud of. I am 26 and I am happy to have achieved this so young.
“Everyone hopes us to win in Paris, but first comes the game with Finland, a squad that are no weaker and will try to make things hard for us in the fight for World Cup qualifying.”