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Spain will do well at the World Cup next summer, but the midfield maestro has tipped a couple of countries to really challenge them...

Xavi has admitted that he is pleased to see England back to their best and picked out Ivory Coast as a team to watch at next summer's World Cup finals.

The Barcelona midfielder was preparing to face Inter in the Champions League, but reflected on the international week off, and looked ahead to the tournament in South Africa.

Praising English players such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, Xavi explained that he is pleased the Three Lions will be at the finals.

"England were the big absence from Euro 2008 and I expect they are itching to show they can win the World Cup," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"And we might see a surprise this time from an African country, like Ivory Coast," he added. "They look very strong to me right now."

While tipping England and Ivory Coast to do well, Xavi believes that Spain are capable of claiming their first World Cup win.

"We have a superb generation of players, we have already qualified for South Africa and also have the experience of playing there," he continued.

"We have become a winning team that is very competitive at the world level. We have a great chance, and that fills us with excitement."

Lucas Brown,