Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has told reporters he considers Brazil to be the strongest team at next year’s World Cup.
Del Bosque set off for Brazil on Wednesday alongside assistant Coach Toni Grande and fitness Coach Javier Minano, and will attend Friday evening’s draw to determine the group stages.
However, he shrugged off suggestions his team will start the tournament as favourites despite going into it as reigning champions.
“We can’t talk about who are favourites as that would be unwise. There are plenty of good teams involved and the whole tournament will be highly competitive,” he told reporters.
“The main thing is that we are okay. We must respect all of our opponents and treat them the same.
“We now have six months to prepare and aim to do that in the best possible way, while I hope we don’t get any bad luck and find ourselves in a complicated group.
“Brazil, as host nation, are perhaps the strongest but we shouldn’t underestimate any of the African teams, particularly Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon.”
Of more immediate concern for Del Bosque is the weather conditions Spain could face when they begin the defence of the trophy they won in South Africa three-and-a-half years ago.
“The players really suffered in last summer’s Confederations Cup,” he explained.