MADRID Spain (Xinhua) --
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui admitted he had a
touch of nerves in an interview published in the Spanish media
on the day his side flew to Russia to continue their
preparations for the World Cup.
The Spanish kick off
their campaign on June 15th against Portugal with the
country hoping for a repeat of their 2010 triumph, rather than
the surprise failure in 2014 when they crashed out of the first
stage of the tournament in Brazil.
“You are always
focused and you feel the World Cup getting closer, which gives
you that slight feeling of nerves or excitement,” said Lopetegui,
adding that the feeling “had to exist and is good.”
A former goalkeeper,
Lopetegui was part of the Spain squad in the 1994 World Cup as a
player, and replaced Vicente del Bosque as national team coach
after the 2016 European Championships.
“The perspective and
responsibility is different. It is the best tournament that
exists and something everyone wants to participate in ever since
they were children,” he explained.
He said the toughest
thing about the World Cup was that “any small detail can see you
out, because it’s not a league... Every game is vital,”
highlighted the Spain coach, who said that past experiences
counted for nothing.
“It (the past) isn’t
going to help or hinder us, we have to win depending on how we
perform now and how we compete. It is down to what we do,”
The coach said his
job was to “create a context in which the players can develop
their talent, where they are comfortable and can exploit that
talent,” stressing that “the team is more important than the
player,” but adding the squad “solid and has been consolidated
in a lot of games and our style of play is above any plan or