Jul 25 2012 By Gordon Parks
Jordi Alba Image 2
SPAIN’S Olympic football stars insist they can’t wait to make a splash in Glasgow – thanks to Scotland’s rainy weather.
The tournament favourites pitched up at Hampden Park ahead of Thursday’s London 2012 opener against Japan and claimed the clouds above would help them get their tournament off to a flier.
Spanish boss Luis Milla knew what to expect from a country that has seen little sunshine this summer and is adamant the wet conditions will suit his slick side.
He said: “I understand that this is the weather here – it rains a lot and the pitch will be wet.
“A wet pitch can suit our style of play but it’s also the same for Japan because they have fast, technical players as well. Getting three points in the first game is always important, especially in the group stage.
“A win in the opener boosts your chances of getting through to the knockout stages but in the last World Cup and Euros, Spain didn’t get off to a good start and still won.”
Hampden will be close to a sell-out as punters flock to see the next generation of Spanish stars. But Milla insists fans shouldn’t expect to see a side as accomplished as the senior team.
He said: “It’s not fair that the players are under the same pressure as the seniors because the senior team are so good.
“There will be an expectation that we reach the same heights but we are just taking it one game at a time.”
Japan have never beaten Spain at any level but Milla is only focused on the job at hand.
He said: “We respect Japan and know that they have good players.
“With the motivation of playing at the Olympics against a team like Spain, I don’t doubt that it will be a difficult game.
“I don’t like to talk about favourites. Team GB and Brazil will also be mentioned but you can’t write off the others.”