Albania boss Christian Panucci wished Spain good luck at the 2018 World Cup and backed them to “be there alongside Brazil and Germany”.
Panucci saw Albania go down 3-0 to Spain, who booked their place in Russia next summer after Italy’s draw with FYR Macedonia, and the former Real Madrid defender admitted La Roja were ‘far superior’ to his side.
“Spain are among the favourites to win the World Cup because they have experienced players,” he said after the game.
“You can see their quality. Together with Brazil and Germany, Spain will be there or thereabouts.
“Still, I also think that if Italy qualify, it won’t be easy to send them home.
“Spain’s superiority? We knew before the game that Spain were going to keep the ball, so we had to defend and hit them on the counterattack.
“Their first goal was very nice, but we could’ve done better with the other two. Spain’s quality in the first half-hour made them far superior to us.
“Pace of play? I came to Albania to prepare for the European Championship qualifiers, but we had a great second half, we created four or five chances, which isn’t easy against Spain.
“I’m very satisfied with our second half because we changed something, we were scared before that.
“Spain moved very quickly, while my players are used to slower Leagues. Good luck to Spain!”
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