WORLD CUP 2014
The Socceroos have earned the praise of Spain's World Cup-winning coach Vicente del Bosque, who said they should be proud of their performances in Brazil.
On the eve of Spain's final World Cup match in Curitiba on Tuesday, del Bosque lauded Australia's technical ability and the well-organised, attacking manner in which coach Ange Postecoglou has them playing.
As the only coach to have won the UEFA Champions League (with Real Madrid), the European Championship and the World Cup, del Bosque is among the world's most highly-rated managers.
But while his stocks may have plunged since back-to-back defeats in Brazil ruled Spain out of a title defence, he admits the opposite is true of the Socceroos and Postecoglou.
He said he had done his research on Australia before the tournament but conceded he was forced to reassess after the Socceroos' impressive displays against the Netherlands and Chile.
Del Bosque says he expects a difficult encounter.
"We had information about them before we came here but after watching them against Holland and Chile, I can confirm that they are really good," del Bosque said on Monday.
"They are very good technically, they have very fast players who play at the front. It's true that they have some injuries but they are very well organised.
"So I must say that they are a wonderful team and they can feel very proud of their performance in this World Cup." - AAP