Spain expects same respect despite World Cup exit
Spain expects Australia, all rivals, to show same respect despite early World Cup exit
Associated Press
2014-06-23 03:01 AM

CURITIBA, Brazil (AP) -- Spain doesn't expect its poor showing at the World Cup to take the fear out of opponents. That includes Australia, its opponent in the Group B finale.

Spain's unexpected early exit from Brazil will likely drop it from the top spot in the FIFA rankings after it was ousted from the World Cup earlier than any previous defending champion.

But goalkeeper Pepe Reina says, "I don't know if opponents have the same respect for us or not. But Spain will always be respected for its philosophy of play. ... We've earned it. "

Coach Vicente del Bosque says Xavi Hernandez is unavailable because of injury for Monday's finale at the Arena da Baixada, when Andres Iniesta will earn his 100th cap for Spain and Reina will make his World Cup debut.

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