Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino believes the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will be tough, but he is nevertheless confident his team will thrive. La Albirroja arrived in Johannesburg this afternoon, before boarding another flight to Pietermaritzburg, where they will be based ahead of the tournament.
“I have been to South Africa before," Martino explained to FIFA.com. "I think know we know what to expect. We have been preparing well for this World Cup. I believe we will be in good condition for the first game.
We are aware that this is going to be a difficult tournament, but we need to work harder and make sure we qualify for the next round.
"We will be trying to do our best to prepare for our game against Italy, which should be tough. We are aware that this is going to be a difficult tournament for everyone, but we need to work harder and make sure we qualify for the next round."
Paraguay have played in South Africa before, losing 3-0 to *Bafana Bafana *in a friendly in March 2008. Despite the defeat, however, it afforded them a tatse of the conditions.
Paraguay will launch their Group F campaign against Italy in Cape Town on 14 June. They will then travel about 1,100km to the city of Mangaung/Bloemfontein to face Slovakia, before taking on New Zealand in Polokwane.
Paraguay, who have never progressed beyond the Round of 16, will be making their eight FIFA World Cup appearance and their fourth in a row.