World champions Spain looking for showdown with Brazil

Madrid: Spain want to pit their wits as World Cup winners against record five-times champions Brazil, captain Iker Casillas said on Monday.

"The team I haven`t had the chance to meet and would like to face are Brazil," the goalkeeper told a news conference ahead of Tuesday`s friendly against Argentina at River Plate`s Monumental stadium (2000 GMT).

"We would love to play a match with Brazil," said Casillas, his face lighting up. "I think the last (meeting of the sides) dates back 12 years."

Spain met twice world champions Argentina, Brazil`s arch rivals, as recently as last November in a friendly the home team won 2-1 in Madrid.

Casillas said his team could not afford to rest on their laurels as they faced a 2012 qualifying campaign where they are defending their European championship title.

He said friendlies like Tuesday`s against Argentina were important for Spain to keep progressing, saying: "It`s the first time we`ve travelled so much for a friendly but it`s well worth it".

Spain played their opening Euro qualifier in Liechtenstein on Friday, recording a 4-0 win, and flew about 15 hours to Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Coach Vicente del Bosque said: "The worst that could happen to us is to get comfortable and think ourselves kings of the world.

"Now we`ve finished with the objective of winning a World Cup and we`re preparing to validate our European title."

Del Bosque said Spain were not favourites on Tuesday.

"I think Argentina are in a position to be able to beat us," said Del Bosque, whose side scored a stoppage-time equaliser to draw 1-1 in Mexico last month in their first match since lifting the World Cup.

"They have an organised game and they have talent, if the two things work they will be on a level with our team. We`re not so far apart."

Del Bosque said Argentina had moved on from the World Cup in South Africa where former coach Diego Maradona`s team were beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals in July.

Tacitly praising new coach Sergio Batista, whose first match was a 1-0 win in Dublin last month, he said: "From what I saw against Ireland they have that pause and possession in midfield and change of acceleration through the forwards to give their attacking game movement".

Bureau Report


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