Spain have regained winning mentality: Caminero
Winning the 2008 European Championship sparked a change in mentality in the Spain squad, helping them capture the 2010 World Cup and retain their European crown in 2012.
Ex-Spanish international Jose Luis Caminero, who was in Singapore yesterday for the launch of the International Champions Cup, believes that was the major factor that turned La Roja from a team that just played fantastic football to one that translated that play into trophies.
The 50-year-old believes that Spain, who crashed out in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup, have regained that frame of mind going into this year's showpiece in Russia.
He said: "They changed after they first won the Euros, it was a mental change.
"The players really started learning how to cope and that's after that Euro (2008), they started preparing and giving everything to win.
"They're looking for the younger players who have the same mentality."
Spain's young players like 22-year-old Marco Asensio have been integral to their impressive run.
They finished top of their World Cup qualifying group, with nine wins and a draw. Last month, they also thrashed Argentina 6-1 in a friendly.
They are grouped with Portugal, Iran and Morocco at the World Cup. Caminero believes that Spain are strong contenders to win it, but is wary of competition from other teams.
Like Caminero, France's Robert Pires has faith in his country's ability to take the title, especially with Didier Deschamps at the helm.
The 44-year-old, who was part of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship, said: "This World Cup will be very difficult... but France have a good opportunity to win.
"We have good, young players who have talent, great manager. He knows everything about football.
"He won the World Cup 20 years ago, so for him, it's very important to give a good message for the players."
Brazil, another hot favourite for the World Cup, face fitness concerns over star player Neymar, who suffered a metatarsal fracture in February.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar said on Sunday that he needs just one more month to recover, and former Brazil player Maxwell believes Neymar will be fit and firing by June.
Said Maxwell: "Physically, he needs work, he's still injured but he will be ready for the World Cup and lead a fantastic team for sure... He's our leader and our best player in the national team." - KIMBERLY KWEK