Switzerland have nothing to lose when they take on European champions Spain, Swiss defender Philippe Senderos said on the eve of Wednesday's match. The Arsenal player, whose father is Spanish, added that his team could only hope to go out, remain solid at the back and cause a Spain team filled with talent and household names some problems.
"Spain have a good chance [of winning the FIFA World Cup™], and we will try our best to be at our best. We don't have much to lose tomorrow, but Spain has lots to lose," said Senderos. "We have to try to cause them some problems and get some points. Spain deserve respect and after winning EURO 2008 they are one of the favourites. We're a small team and we'll go onto the pitch with the same mentality and do our best."
He added: "We don't mind not being favourites. We want to go out there, enjoy the occasion, try to attack and go forward. Hopefully we'll repeat what we did at the last World Cup [when the Swiss topped their group and made it through to the second round, only to crash out on penalties to Ukraine].
"It will be an extremely special day for me with my dad in the stands," Senderos said of his Spanish father. "It's a very important game for me. Not only is dad Spanish, but all my cousins are and that's where I spent all my summer holidays. It's the first time I'm going to play against Spain, but I was born in Switzerland and am proud to wear Swiss colours."
Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is just one of three coaches to win the UEFA Champions League with two different teams [in his case Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich], was under no illusion about the challenge lying ahead for his side. The coach who won seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern dubbed Spain "five-star favourites", saying they had the "team of the century".
"They have incredible talent, individually skilled players who are very tight, very compact, as a team. They can focus on attack and are also virtually perfect in defence," he said. "We're playing the favourites and we have nothing to lose, but we have great potential in the team. We could bring about a sensation, we could be one of the teams to make the favourites tumble. Laws of probablity say at one point we will beat Spain, so why not tomorrow?"