Raul Albiol has welcomed the prospect of Spain being booed at next summer’s World Cup: “When they applaud you…something is wrong.”
La Roja are seen as one of the favourites at next summer’s tournament to win the trophy, which would be a successful defence of the crown picked up in South Africa in 2010.
On from a difficult reception from the locals during 2013’s Confederations Cup, Albiol is expecting he and his Spanish teammates to once more be on the receiving end of negative attention from Brazil’s crowds, and he is open to it.
“Let them boo and insult us – that’s because they see us as favourites. When they applaud you or pat you on the back… something is wrong,” the centre-back has mused this week to FIFA’s official website.
“It’s a good thing that people expect us to win it. That means we have a chance and that we have the team to do it.
“We want to win it and we are setting out to claim our second World Cup, but it will be difficult.
“We can’t think about the final when we don’t even know which group we will be in. We’ll go there with humility. In a one-off game, anyone can beat you.
“Brazil are under greater pressure because they’re five-time winners and because they’re playing at home.”
Albiol is midway through his first season away from Spanish football, as he settles into life under Rafa Benitez at Napoli.
“Italian football has always interested me, it attracted me, and even though the level has perhaps dropped a little over the last few years, it remains a very attractive championship.
“Here the teams usually play with three central defenders and two strikers, something that rarely happens in Spain, and the games are tighter, but I am adapting well.
“I’m very happy with how I have been received by the club, the fans and my teammates.
“I wanted to leave Madrid so that I could play more regularly, Napoli were interested and, on top of that, Rafa Benitez was there!
“He gave me my debut at Valencia when I was 18, so when Napoli called me, I thought it was the ideal moment.
“I had the trust of the Coach and I hoped to repay that with hard work. I’m happy with the decision I took.”