Santa Cruz ready for Spain test

  • By: Razwan Mirza
  • Last Updated: July 1 2010, 14:14 BST

Roque Santa Cruz is adamant that Paraguay will be ready for Spain when the sides meet in the World Cup quarter-finals in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Santa Cruz - thinks Spain are favourites.

La Albirroja have reached the last eight of the World Cup for the first time in their history after beating Japan 5-3 on penalties following three previous disappointments at the second round stage.

The 28-year-old striker believes success at the tournament has made the side hungry for more and expects Paraguay to give everything for a place in the semi-finals.

"This (record) is more for the people in Paraguay, we're football players, we're used to playing in teams that win every game," said Santa Cruz.

"Even if we're very pleased and happy that we qualified, we didn't expect to go to penalties, we expected to be far better than we have been playing.

"We have not reached our potential yet, we want to keep improving, play better and keep progressing."

Santa Cruz, who endured an injury hit season with Manchester City, expects a very different game against European champions Spain.

"Spain are a very compact team who has been playing together for a long time, everyone knows they're the favourites," he admits.

"It's going to be a tough game, Spain are very famous for managing the ball very well and the ball possession won't be on our side as it was the last two games.

"But it will be one of those games that we're very used to playing in South America when we play against Brazil or Argentina, so it's not a type of game that we're not used to playing.

"We're full of confidence that we can play a great game. We'll play the same game we usually play and try to get the ball very early, that's something that won't change."