World Cup: Andres Iniesta eager to see Spain replicate 2010 triumph in Brazil
Andres Iniesta hopes Spain's period of dominance will continue at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but is wary of England.
Last Updated: 04/06/14 4:42pm
The Barcelona playmaker netted the winner in the 2010 World Cup final as Spain beat the Netherlands in South Africa before going on to help Vincente del Bosque's side defend their European Championship title in 2012.
Two years on, thoughts return to the global stage where Spain again have a crown to retain but the 30-year-old admits it will difficult to replicate the overwhelming sense of joy experienced after their South Africa triumph.
England has always got to be a candidate, it has always got to be considered one of the favourites because of the history, because of the players, because they have a particularly defined style.
"It was the best thing that's ever happened to me," Iniesta recalled when speaking to the Daily Mail.
"Not only for me on a personal level but also for the Spanish team. There are not many other moments in life when you can feel any more overjoyed than that.
"When I scored, what was in my mind was that there wasn't a lot of time left and I just really wanted the referee to blow the whistle!"
Despite heading to Rio as defending world and European champions, Iniesta believes there are plenty of challenges to face and is eager to see their reign extended.
"We hope it will continue," Iniesta added. "We have managed an unprecedented feat but there are always challenges.
"This is going to be a new, big challenge going to Brazil in the position of defending champions."
Much of Del Bosque's trophy-winning side, featuring Iniesta's Barcelona team-mates Xavi, Fabregas and Sergio Busquets, plus Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid, remains intact while exciting new additions such as Atletico Madrid's Koke add further optimism.
"I don't believe we are hugely different from last time," he said. "We've had our moments but we have to keep in mind that Spain has one World Cup and Brazil has five."
Spain have been paired with Holland, Chile and Australia in a potentially awkward Group B, although Iniesta has no fears of an early exit.
"I think they will all bring different styles but ultimately football is a leveller," he added. "They are all difficult but we are confident we can get out of the group."
Should England make progress from Group D they could be on course to meet Spain at the quarter-final stage and Iniesta believes Roy Hodgson's side could pose a significant threat.
"England has always got to be a candidate, it has always got to be considered one of the favourites because of the history, because of the players, because they have a particularly defined style," he claimed.
"They've got really good players, talented players, but apart from that what will really drive them is the desire to improve on the performance they had in 2010."