In a wide-ranging interview with Eurosport, released just before Arsenal’s shock Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford City on Tuesday, Gunners coach Arsene Wenger said Spain has “little chance” of retaining its title at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“Usually it is a South American country that wins when playing in South America,” Wenger said. “In addition, it will be played in Brazil, adding a little more difficulty. But Spain will be among the major candidates.” He added: “It’s not just their talent and skill, there is certainly a great intelligence at work and continuity with their call-ups.”
Wenger was also very complimentary of up-and-coming Spanish clubs, particularly Malaga, which recently qualified for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the first time in its history and could be a potential opponent for the Gunners. “They win games with great command, despite a difficult financial situation which has forced some players to move on,” the Frenchman said. “I wonder whether this has lifted the spirits of the players, who have showed exceptional solidarity.”