Sergio Ramos says that Spain will be confident of defending their title heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer.
La Roja are this week starting preparations for their defence of the trophy with two friendlies on the continent of Africa this coming week, against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.
“We must focus on the positives even if it is not pleasant for anyone to travel that number of hours,” mused Ramos to reporters today.
“But, whenever you get together with your teammates and prepare for a competition as important as the World Cup, it is a positive.
“Be that in Guinea, South Africa or wherever, we are really happy to be here because most important for a player is representing their country and there are many countries that do not have the chance otherwise to see the world champions up close.
“We must work hard, but we have a unique squad and we are on the right track.
“Spain will feel confident to defend the title. With the players that we have it will be easier, even as we know we cannot live on the past.
“We live in an era of competition among very good players and that is why we must all compete to be on the final list and help the national team.
“What we achieved in South Africa was very difficult and much work remains ahead of us.”
The Real Madrid man was asked of teammate Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or this year.
“For me, yes indeed [he deserves it]. It is an individual trophy and I have always said that individual trophies are thanks to the collective and the work of the team, but I think he deserves it especially for this year when he has proven to be the best.”
Ramos was also asked for his assessment on the news that Lionel Messi is ruled out for rivals Barcelona for the next two months.
“We do not look at our opponents, but we don’t wish misfortunate for any player. He is very important for Barcelona, but these are things in the game, we are not machines and occasionally we have to go through that.”