Spain star Villa keen to avoid Brazil semi-final

Vicente del Bosque's side need at least a point against final group opponents Nigeria to make sure that they face Italy rather than the Confederations Cup hosts in the next stage
Spain star David Villa has been impressed by the form of Confederations Cup hosts Brazil and is eager to avoid playing against them in the last four.

The Barcelona striker scored a hat-trick in the world champions' win over Tahiti in their last group game, a victory which means that his side need only a point against Nigeria on Sunday to be sure of top spot in Group B.

That would be enough to ensure that they play Italy, rather than Brazil, at the semi-final stage, which Villa believes is definitely a prize worth pursuing.

"Brazil are playing very well in this tournament," said the striker at Spain's press conference ahead of the Nigeria clash. "They are a difficult rival so I hope we can win against Nigeria to avoid playing against them in the semi-final.

"They have very fast attacking players and their football is dangerous. They are also very strong defensively – you just have to look at the numbers."

Villa admits that Spain may have been handed the easier of the two groups at the tournament, with games against Uruguay, Nigeria and Tahiti comparing to Brazil's tests against Italy, Japan and Mexico.

The forward added: "Brazil have done very well in a difficult group. I think it was the hardest group at the beginning of the competition.

"We all saw their first two matches; the only one we didn't see was the third one because we were training at the time. Let's see what happens if we do finally play against them at some stage of the competition."