Iniesta trusts youthful Spain to lift World Cup

‘They’re young, but they’re first-team players, important and with a lot of responsibility’

Spain’s World Cup-winning midfielder Andres Iniesta said head coach Luis Enrique’s youthful squad has plenty of first-team experience at club level to deliver international success.

The 2010 champions have opted for a new generation of talent with the likes of Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea left out.

A lot will be expected from exciting Barcelona teenagers Pedri and Gavi at the finals in Qatar and Iniesta said he had full confidence in the duo and the rest of the players.

“They’re young, but they’re first-team players, important and with a lot of responsibility. They have an opportunity to give their best,” Barca great Iniesta, who now plays for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, said.

“It’s a challenge they’re passionate about and they’re aware of being able to do well … Personally, I love this team and I love the group that the coach has put together.”

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal that gave Spain their only World Cup title, wants to see them go all the way again.

“I hope and wish that the winners of the World Cup will be Spain,” Iniesta said.

“My prediction is always ambitious.”

Spain face Costa Rica in their opener on Wednesday before matches against Germany and Japan in Group E.

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