Spain coach Lopetegui wary of World Cup rivals

Barcelona, Spain are one of the favourites to win the 2018 World Cup but coach Julen Lopetegui highlighted the difficulties his side will have after being paired with Portugal, Iran and Morocco in Group B on Friday’s draw.

Lopetegui’s side face Euro 2016 winners Portugal in their first game in Sochi on June 15, with Fernando Santos’ side spearheaded by Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s not the time to talk about individuals right now,” Lopetegui told Spanish television channel Cuatro.

“Portugal are a great team, they are the current European champions and have a lot of top level players, the highest level. Many of Morocco’s players are in Europe and they eliminated Ivory Coast and didn’t lose any games (in African qualifying).

“Iran did not let in a single goal in qualifying and have a coach (Carlos Quieroz) who has been there for a long time.”

Spain have not announced where they will be based in Russia next summer but reports suggest it will be Krasnodar, which Lopetegui acknowledged is likely.

“Until it’s official I cannot say anything, but that’s more than probable,” he said. “Knowing how the distances can be in Russia, it’s quite balanced.”

Source: Ghana News Agency