RIO DE JANEIRO, Reuters) – World champions Spain will field a second-string side against Oceania champions Tahiti in the Confederations Cup today but are unlikely to show any mercy in what is expected to be a one-sided carnival of soccer at the Maracana stadium.
One of the more unlikely competitive matches in any major FIFA competition pits the amateurs from the South Pacific against a team that has won two European titles and the World Cup in the last five years and earned comparisons with the great Brazil side of 1970 widely regarded as the best team in history.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, speaking to the media before the Group B match, said he and his team were taking their opponents very seriously and would treat them with the utmost respect.
However, he revealed that captain Iker Casillas, who played in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Uruguay, would be rested and squad members who did not feature against the South American champions would also get a run out.
“There will definitely be a change in goal and those who did not play against Uruguay will play,” he told a news conference.
“It’s not showing the opponent a lack of respect but an attempt to maintain balance,” added the former Real Madrid boss.
“It helps improve relationships when everyone feels useful. The 23 players I have are starters for their clubs and they are all capable of playing for the national team.