Spain wary of injuries
Spain are taking measures to ensure none of their players are forced out of the World Cup with injury.
Last Updated: 06/06/10 6:01pm
Spain are taking measures to ensure none of their players are forced out of the World Cup following a rush of international injuries.
Dutch winger Arjen Robben is the latest high-profile casualty ahead of the tournament, which gets underway on Friday, while injured England and Germany captains Rio Ferdinand and Michael Ballack have been ruled out.
And Spain forward Juan Mata says his side are keen to avoid any such injuries hampering their own campaign in South Africa.
"The aim of our training camp, apart from finding our rhythm and learning ideas and tactics, is not to get injured," said Mata.
"There are important players who are not going to be at the World Cup and let's hope it doesn't happen to us and we all are able to travel at full fitness."
Defender Joan Capdevila added: "The truth is yes, it's worrying. We are being careful because the aim is to arrive at the World Cup in peak condition."
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes, despite their injury problems, England will still present a major threat in South Africa.
"The great players want to be there and help their national team but if they can't participate they'll be giving their support to their team mates," said Del Bosque.
"The injuries are significant but you don't lose a World Cup due to one player being sidelined. They (England) still have a good chance."
Mata agrees the Three Lions are strong contenders to raise the trophy and believes Fabio Capello's men, along with Brazil and Argentina, could prove Spain's most dangerous competition.
"Squads like Brazil, Argentina or England are favoured above Spain to win the title at this World Cup," added Mata.
"Those countries have won the Cup before, while we still have not had that experience, and that could be very important.
"The level of the squads and coaches in this event is high, and I'm convinced that these teams can get through the first round and go very far in South Africa."
Mata also named France and Italy as teams to watch out for in the tournament, adding: "Italy is a team that always ups its performances in the World Cup and for me they are big rivals. And France never forget their level."
The Valencia forward insists holding the European title does not give Spain any assurances going into the competition.
He added: "We are European champions but this does not equal guaranteed success."