Sunday, June 07, 2009


Though they are the reigning European U21 champions, Spain will be more then happy if they finish among the top three in the Junior World Cup.

Dispelling the notion that they are the early favourites given their Euro champions tag, they believe that there are ten teams that can win the tournament as there is little to chose between them.

Spanish coach, Salvador Indurain, says that teams like Australia, Argentina, India, Holland, Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, England and Pakistan have a fair chance to lift the trophy.

" We have had good preparation and I am optimistic we can do well here," said Salvador.

"It is going to be tough given the humid conditions but that cannot be used as an excuse as all teams will play under similar conditions.

"Our target is to finish in the top three, thereby justifying our world rankings.

"Of course we want to win, who wouldn't but I am happy to take it one step at a time."

Spain are in Group C together with USA,South Korea,England and Malaysia.

Spain's best ever performance in the JWC was when they finished third in the 2005 edition in Rotterdam.

Prior to that they have never made it to the semis. But all that is starting to change as Spain are targeting a podium finish this time around too.

"We underwent a change of focus from 2000 where we started paying more emphasis on the juniors," said Salvador.

"This was reflected in our performances at the Euro U21 championships. In 2004 we were third and went on to win the title four years later."

The Spanish defeated Holland via the golden goal in the final of the European Championships last year on their home turf at Barcelona.

And they are hoping to continue their good fortune at the Junior World Cup.

"Barcelona's triumph in the European Cup is just the motivation we need to try to win the event," added Salvador

"And as I said there are ten teams capable of winning the title and I hope that Spain will be that team.