Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque insists his team must realise that prestige, if not points, is on the line when they face the United States in a friendly in Boston on Saturday.
The world and European champions have won all five of their Euro 2012 qualifiers to date but have noticeably taken their foot off the gas in friendlies since winning the World Cup last July.
“We must pay close attention and put in plenty of effort, it will not be an easy match. The US have a good coach (Bob Bradley) and good players, they are sure to have extra motivation to play against the champions and to do so in Boston, in their country. They play strong football and they are uncomfortable to play against, they are fast, tall and have a good physical condition.”
Spain will be without Barcelona duo Carles Puyol and Xavi, but midfielder Manu Del Moral, who last month joined Sevilla from Getafe, has been called into the senior squad for the first time while there are recalls for Villarreal pair Bruno Soriano and Borja Valero and Sevilla forward Alvaro Negredo is also back in the mix.
Del Bosque, whose side also take on Venezuela on Tuesday, insists his squad are in good shape despite these games representing the last action of another long, hard season for many of them.
“They are tired, but all our international are physical marvels, as well as very big players. The season ended a week ago and nobody could get out of shape. The team is well, they have physical and technical tone.”