Vicente Del Bosque feels that while Spain will be in for a heated reception in Brazil, it won’t be because of the presence of Diego Costa.
Costa was born in Brazil but chose to play for Spain despite representing the World Cup hosts in two friendly matches.
Spain were given a spikey welcome at the Confederations Cup a year ago but Del Bosque believes that was because they were Brazil’s rivals for the tournament, and the same will be true again, he told German publication Welt am Sonntag.
“There will be times in the rivalry that won’t make us more beloved by the Brazilians,” AS reports Del Bosque as saying.
“But in general I don’t think it will be because [Costa] is with us.
“The public was against us during the Confederations Cup. We are considered Brazil’s rivals, so that’s a natural reaction.”
Del Bosque also defended the decision to field the naturalised Costa, citing what he feels the Atletico Madrid man will bring to La Roja, but claiming Spain are more of a team than some of their rivals.
“He decided to become Spanish and play with us,” Del Bosque explained.
“He has earned a lot of points for his club this season with his goals, his fight and his enthusiasm. A player with these features doesn’t hurt us.
“We can say that Messi is Argentina, Cristiano is Portugal or Ozil is Germany. Compared to these the Spain team has no player of that importance.”
The conditions in Brazil have been the cause of much debate and concern but Del Bosque dismissed any worries as the teams are still on a level playing field.
“I don’t think we need to complain because it’s the same for everyone,” he argued.
“I suppose the Netherlands and Chile are also concerned about the heat. The climate won’t decrease the performance.”
But Del Bosque rejected the suggestion Spain are favourites for the trophy.
“We don’t feel like favourites. We feel the responsibility of defending the trophy and playing a good tournament,” he countered.
“But not favourites. We’re not fools. We know that in Europe there are only two or three there are only two or three great teams but at the World Cup there are plenty who can win without a problem.
“Maybe this time we’ll see an African team at least get close to the final.”