Casillas says Spain will respect opponents

Captain Iker Casillas has promised Spain will not take any team lightly in South Africa as they look to add the world title to their European crown.

The Spanish were beaten by the United States at the Confederations Cup last year - 12 months after clinching Euro 2008 glory - and Casillas does not want a similar such slip-up in their World Cup Group H opener against Switzerland today.

"Last summer, we came to the Confederations Cup with great expectations only to be eliminated by Team USA," said the 29-year-old Real Madrid man.

"We lost on a bad day for us.

"The fact is that in a World Cup there are no small rivals.

"National teams that were considered minnows are improving and can surprise you.

"Rivals can take advantage of any mistake you make and make you pay.

"That is why we must prepare for everything."

Vicente Del Bosque's side head into this afternoon's encounter in confident mood but not taking anything for granted.

"Results are all that count," Casillas said.

"The good thing is that in the past, we have been considered favourites and we have taken a hit.

"Now we are prudent.

"We must take it one step at a time because there are national teams that have done better at World Cups than us and have gone further than us.

"No-one can take the European title away from us, but we have to be calm and have respect for all the teams."

This will be Casillas' third World Cup, but his first with the extra responsibility and honour of the skipper's armband.

"I am proud to captain and represent a team that has a lot of great talent," he said.

"We have players in our side that won six titles at club level last year.

"What is important is that everyone gives everything."

Casillas expects a tough opener in Durban and has done his homework on the Swiss.

"They have an experienced midfield line," he said.

"We have to be extremely careful with dead-ball situations as they are very good at that.

"I think for Switzerland to play against Spain is a privilege and I'm sure they will be also driven by their enthusiasm."

That is certainly the case for Switzerland defender Philippe Senderos.

"This is a very important game for me since my father is Spanish and I have a lot of family in Spain," the Fulham player said.

"I have a very close relationship with this country and it's the first time in my career that I'm going to play against them.

"I wish the best of luck to Spain in this tournament but I am very proud to wear the Swiss colours and to help my team do well."

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