Spain attacker David Silva says it is vital his side get off to a good start against the Netherlands on Friday (June 13). The defending champions have been handed a tricky opener against their fellow finalists at the last World Cup in South Africa. At that competition, Spain slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Switzerland in their first match. They recovered sufficiently to lift the trophy, but a second slip up may not go unpunished this time around

 

 

Spain knows they must be at their best in opening match against Netherlands

Spanish attacker David Silva says it is vital Spain get off to a good start against the Netherlands on Friday (June 13). The defending champions have been handed a tricky opener against their fellow finalists at the last World Cup in South Africa. At that competition, Spain slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Switzerland in their first match. They recovered sufficiently to lift the trophy, but a second slip up may not go unpunished this time around.

"The game against the Netherlands is a key one because it is our first," Silva told reporters at a news conference at Spain's base in Curitiba. "The first one is always important. In the last World Cup we lost the first game, but when it came to the final we were the champions. But we know that if we win the first game it is a very important step in the tournament."

The final in 2010 was a cagey affair which Spain won in extra time. It was also marred by some aggressive tackling by the Dutch, but defender Raul Albiol said Spain must ignore any repeat in Salvador. "We have to think about our game, we have to be at our best," he said. "From there it is the referees who decide about fouls. Our aim is to forget about fouls or provocations that might come our way, or that kind of thing."

Meanwhile Silva said that he was happy be part of the team in any way coach Vicente Del Bosque sees fit. The Manchester City player was among the best in the Premier League this season, helping his side to win the title. Silva's quick feet and sharp footballing brain helped open up many defences. Del Bosque could even chose to play Silva as a "false nine" at the top of his formation, even if the 28-year-old believes he is best suited to slotting in behind the frontline. That would leave him supplying the likes of Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and David Villa, and Silva says he would be delighted to support any of them.

"I think that I feel better playing just behind the forwards," he said. "This year at Manchester City I have been playing in this position. It is true that I like it best there." But, he said, "I have played in a few positions and I have tried to adapt. We have got some great forwards. You have asked me about some of them, but I can play with anybody. It is easy because they are great players and I am sure that they will score plenty of goals."

 

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"Spain Focusing on Strong Opening Match Against Netherlands "