GLASGOW: Luis Milla belongs to that rare band of footballers who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid and thus he may have a particular insight which helps him focus players from the two clubs on their Olympic Games goal at London 2012.
Milla’s men kick off the men’s tournament on Thursday against Japan at Hampden Park, Glasgow, and he has been busy denying that Spain are favourites on the strength of all the talent displayed over the past four years by the seniors.
He said: “The team are in good shape. The players are aware of the responsibility of representing Spain at international level but we are taking it steadily. I don’t think it’s fair to consider us as favourites on the strength of what the senior team have achieved – because they are such a good team.
“If you want to talk favourites then I would highlight Great Britain as the home team and Brazil because of the players they have at their disposal.”
Milla warned that Spain would be complacent about the test offered by a comparatively inexperienced Japanese team.
He said: We respect Japan. They have good players who are in top condition and they have improved at all levels in recent years. Also, they will have added motivation from playing in the Olympics and playing against a team called Spain. It will be a difficult game.”
“But you cannot write off any team when you look at the strength of the squads.”