With the FIFA World Cup™ already into its fourth day, Spain defender Sergio Ramos admits the European champions are now champing at the bit to start their own campaign. Spain were the last of the 32 participating nations to arrive in South Africa after landing last Friday, and along with opponents Switzerland, they will also be the final teams to play their opening match.
That Group H clash will take place in Durban on Wednesday -- the same day as hosts South Africa and Uruguay play their second games -- and Ramos admits Spain are now eager to get underway. "After a long period in Spain and here in South Africa, we're keen to play the match and we want to show what we've been doing for a long time," said Ramos, who believes it is vital they hit the ground running. "It's true that the first game is important. The first game is crucial for confidence and for the mood of the players."
If, as expected, Vicente del Bosque's side progress through the group, they are set to come up against a daunting opponent in the last 16 with one of Brazil, Portugal, or Ivory Coast likely to be waiting for them. However, that is further down the line and Ramos is only thinking about the clash with Switzerland, insisting his side cannot afford to underestimate any side or get carried away by being widely tipped to be crowned world champions this summer.
"You always need to give the utmost respect to all your opponents. It will be a very tough game and we will try to cause them problems with our attacking play," said the Real Madrid defender. "It's the fans, the press and the other teams who have put us down as favourites, but we are keeping our feet on the ground, as we have been doing. We're going to respect everyone the same. It would be a mistake to think we are the favourites. We are in the first phase and we have important games ahead of us."