Sergio Ramos says Spain will have to cope with a hostile reception at the World Cup in Brazil next year.
The Real Madrid defender was speaking to the media at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg as the world and European champions prepare to take on South Africa in an international friendly on Tuesday.
La Roja’s last visit to the country in 2010 saw them lift the World Cup for the first time in their history, but Ramos is aware they will not be able to rely on the kind of backing they received in South Africa in Brazil.
“The competition between Spain and Brazil is very strong and we don’t expect the Brazil fans to support us the way South Africans do,” the centre-back told journalists.
“Obviously, we will be expecting less support during the World Cup.”
The return to the site of their greatest triumph gave some of the Spain players the opportunity to reminisce about their African success, including Atletico Madrid forward David Villa.
“We have played in different countries since we won the World Cup. We are very proud to represent Spain, and it’s good for us to come back to South Africa," he said.
“It really brings back good memories.”
Spain go into the friendly on the back of an abject performance against Equatorial Guinea and the world’s No.1 ranked team will be looking for a drastically improved performance in Johannesburg to give those South African fans something to cheer about once more.