MX23RW : Saturday, September 22 05:44:58

Cesc Fabregas: 'Struggling World Cup big nations can afford to panic a little'

Fabregas: 'Big teams can panic a little'
© Reuters
Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas claims that the World Cup's underperforming big nations can make the most of "a little bit" of panic in their upcoming group games.

Cesc Fabregas has claimed that the World Cup's underperforming big nations can make the most of "a little bit" of panic in a bid to get their campaigns back on track.

Spain, Portugal and Brazil all failed to win their opening games in Russia, but emerged victorious in their second fixtures.

Germany, meanwhile, have lost their one game so far in the competition, with a make-or-break clash against Sweden coming up, while Argentina have just one point from their two matches.

Fabregas recalled the pressure faced by eventual champions Spain in 2010, following their campaign-opening loss to Switzerland, but insisted that some nerves can help stamp out complacency and drive up performance.

"When the [second game against Chile] started, it was very tense - I was on the bench and could see all of the players were nervous, but we also stayed calm, maybe because of our experience," the Chelsea midfielder told BBC Sport.

"The pressure... was not too much for us once the game had started, even in situations like that one. It happened naturally for us and I could just let go and think, 'I have to play how I know'.

"Germany have to do the same against Sweden, and in some ways it is important for them not to panic. But it is also important not to just think, 'Don't worry, we will win this one', because if they think that way they will not be ready, and they will probably lose that one too.

"It is good sometimes to panic a little bit, especially for the top teams like Germany, Spain, Argentina and Brazil, who all failed to win their opening games. It can be a positive to feel that pressure, so you realise that if you don't do well next time, you are going home."

Fabregas has won 110 caps for Spain but failed to make the Roja squad for the tournament in Russia.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 19, 2018
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