Spain playing for pride - Albiol

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iol spt june21 Abiol

Curitiba, Brazil – Napoli defender Raul Albiol believes Spain will be motivated to avoid the embarrassment of exiting the World Cup without registering a single point when they face Australia on Monday.

The world and European champions have already been eliminated thanks to defeats to Chile and the Netherlands, bringing to an end a wonderful six-year run in which they won three consecutive major tournaments.

“We are at a World Cup, we may be eliminated but we need to win and take some points so that we are not last in the group,” said the former Real Madrid man.

“We are representing our country and these are the last 90

minutes.

“Unfortunately we will be going home afterwards, but the fact it is a World Cup is enough to motivate us.”

Elimination in Brazil is expected to bring about a changing of the guard in the Spain side with the likes of Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez and possibly even captain Iker Casillas set to retire from international football.

However, Manchester City playmaker David Silva insisted he would not be among those to have played his last match for La Roja.

“There are some that are getting older and there is a younger generation coming with a lot of desire and the capability to offer a lot to the team,” he said.

“But I will continue. I still think I am young and hope to continue helping the national team if the manager continues to count on us,” added the 28-year-old.

Albiol is likely to be handed his first action of the tournament against Australia as Vicente Del Bosque is expected to make wholesale changes from the side that struggled to contain the intensity and pace of Chile and the Netherlands.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique is unlikely to be recalled, though, as he was unable to take part in training on Saturday due to a muscular problem and is a doubt for the game in Curitiba. – Sapa-AFP


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