Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Spain's players say their era isn't over yet

Spain's players dismissed notions that a 5-1 loss to the Netherlands spelled the end of an era for the world champions, although coach Vicente del Bosque said it might be time to shake up the lineup for a crucial match against Chile.

"I think the majority of people have confidence in us. We accept criticism, but it's crazy to talk about the end of an era," defender Sergio Ramos said Saturday, a day after Spain endured its worst competitive defeat in 64 years.

"Excuses are for losers, and Spain has a winning mentality, and that will never change."

Spain's bid to repeat as world champion could end if it loses Wednesday's match against Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Rowdy Argentine fans

Police trying to control a rowdy crowd of Argentine soccer fans have used pepper spray to keep them from blocking a main road running in front of Rio's Copacabana beach.

Waving flags and banners, more than a thousand Argentine fans dressed in their team's traditional blue were yelling out soccer chants and exclaiming their team's superiority.

Argentina plays Bosnia-Herzegovina Sunday in Rio's iconic Maracana stadium.

Looking ahead to 2018

Fans with game tickets will be offered free ground transportation between host cities at the 2018 World Cup in western Russia.

"Free travel is a guarantee which we signed at the highest level during our bid," Alexey Sorokin, head of the organizing committee, said Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

He said the free travel would be by train or bus.

Travel has been challenging - and expensive - at the last three major tournaments, including this World Cup in Brazil, the 2012 European championship, and South Africa's 2010 World Cup.

Associated Press
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