Former champions Spain may have topped their group in the ongoing FIFA World Cup, but their performances so far aren't indicative of a side that will do all the way to title victory, feels former Spain footballer Fernando Morientes.
Spain have improved upon their disastrous first-round exit in the 2014 event by setting up a Round-of-16 clash against hosts Russia. However, after sacking coach Julen Lopetegui two days before their opening game against Portugal, their campaign hasn't quite been one that would give their fans much confidence of a repeat of their 2010 heroics.
According to a report on News18, former La Roja forward Morientes felt that their current form "will not get them very far in Russia. "
"Spain reaching the knock-out stages was essential and it is good that they have made it, but they are not up to the mark as yet. This form will not get them very far in Russia," said Morientes.
After Fernando Hierro took over as coach following Lopetegui's ouster, Spain drew their opening game against Portugal 3-3, a game that is remembered mainly for Cristiano Ronaldo's brilliance against his La Liga teammates. Spain went on to beat Iran 1-0, before an injury-time goal by Iago Aspas helped them draw the game against Morocco 2-2 and finish on top of the group.
Morientes, who played for top clubs such as Real Madrid and Liverpool, felt that the Spanish squad didn't lack firepower, especially when it came to their centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, as well as attacking midfielder Isco.
"Ramos and Pique are exceptional, but everyone needs to work harder and help each other more.
"Isco is one of the top players in the world and it is very good for Spain that he is in such good shape during the World Cup. Isco and Diego Costa must come together as the main attacking reference for the team," added Morientes, who was part of the the side that reached the quarter-finals in the 2002 edition of the World Cup.
Morientes was in Kochi to announce a pre-season tournament featuring La Liga's Girona FC, Indian Super League's Kerala Blasters and A-League's Melbourne City FC. The tournament will be the first time a La Liga team travels to India for a competitive fixture.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 15:09:21 IST