Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata picks Brazil, Italy as World Cup challengers to Spain

Juan Mata of Spain in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Semi Final match between Spain and Italy at Castelao on June 27, 2013
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Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata suggests that Brazil and Italy will be Spain's biggest threat in their World Cup defence next year.

Juan Mata has touted Italy and hosts Brazil as possible challengers for next year's World Cup.

The Chelsea playmaker was part of the Spanish squad that won the country's first ever World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Speaking to, Mata said: "I think it's going to be really, really hard to win this tournament because obviously some of the countries that are going to be there are also really fighting to make it to the final.

"For me Brazil, the hosts, have a great, great squad with young players. They beat us in the Confederations Cup last summer. Italy too are going to really fight with us for the title."

Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012 to win their second-straight European Championships.

Chelsea's Juan Mata in action against Everton on May 19, 2013
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