Van Persie, Robben & Sneijder are a real threat, admits Martinez

The Spain international has admits his side have to be wary of the Dutch trio and says they are desperate to win their opening game of the tournament

Spain midfielder Javi Martinez has highlighted Netherlands attackers Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder as a real threat to his side’s chances in their World Cup opener on Friday.

The two teams meet in a replay of the 2010 final, in which an Andres Iniesta goal in extra time clinched the trophy for the Spaniards after Arjen Robben had missed a glorious opportunity on the hour mark.

And Martinez believes the reigning European and world champions will have to be wary of his Bayern team-mate along with Van Persie and Sneijder in the re-match.

“Their biggest threat are their front three, who are all world class,” he told reporters. “Robben is excellent at drifting into space and we will have to watch out for that.”

The 25-year-old says he has spoken to Robben about that missed chance four years ago.

Martinez continued: “We have talked about it in the past couple of years. It was a bitter blow for Holland and him personally.

“We’ve spoken about that match and the one-on-ones against Iker a fair few times. Before the 2013 Champions League final I told him not to blow his opportunity to make amends and he didn’t.”

Martinez believes there is extra pressure on Spain to win their opening game in such a tight group which also consists of Chile and Australia.

“After losing our first game last time round, the onus is on us not to do the same thing again,” he said.

“We showed that it isn’t the be-all and end-all in South Africa, but getting off to a good start gives you extra confidence, even though we ended up as champions four years ago.”

The former Athletic Bilbao player also reflected on last year’s Confederations Cup defeat to Brazil, the tournament hosts who are rated as favourites to win this year’s tournament.

“Brazil were more aggressive than us,” conceded Martinez.

“We were outclassed and it was a wake-up call. If we’re not up for every match, anyone can beat us.”

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