If there is any reassurance for Spain after the shock heavy loss against the Netherlands in their World Cup opener, it is that many of squad have been in the same situation before and survived to triumph.
Fernando Torres was one of those involved when Spain lost their opening game to Switzerland four years ago, coming on in the second half as he did on Friday night in the 5-1 defeat by the Dutch. He spoke to the official Chelsea website before this World Cup about how Spain stuck to their beliefs in South Africa in 2010, and played under the pressure of knowing there was no more margin for error.
The eventual World champions won their second and third group games with Chile one of those opponents, as they will be on Wednesday.
‘Unfortunately we went through the same kind of thing in South Africa,’ Torres said in the wake of yesterday’s loss.
‘The situation is a whole lot trickier after this defeat. You have to win and your opponents know you have to win. You can’t even afford to draw, and they’ll try to make the most of any anxiety we might be feeling.
‘We know we have to keep a cool head. We’re still the same players and we know we can beat anyone. That’s the attitude we’ll be taking into the Chile game.’
The Chelsea striker acknowledged the Netherlands had found weaknesses in Spain’s game which they ruthlessly exploited.
‘We didn’t have any solution to their game plan,’ Torres said. ‘We gave their full-backs too much space and they had all the time they needed to play balls in behind us. They created a lot of chances on the counter, and it doesn’t matter how many goals they scored. We just can’t make any excuses. They were better, as simple as that.’