Spain's defender Cesar Azpilicueta gives a press conference at Krasnodar Academy on June 29, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
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Cesar Azpilicueta is convinced Spain have what it takes to contend for the World Cup title despite a shaky start and the dismissal of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.Fernando Hierro, the former Real captain who played 89 times for Spain, was appointed to replace Lopetegui despite limited previous coaching experience.Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Portugal in their opening game, while Spain's backline was breached twice more by Morocco.Spain drew 3-3 with Russia in a friendly in Saint Petersburg last November, a game in which Krasnodar forward Fedor Smolov netted twice.Azpilicueta dismissed suggestions Andres Iniesta is struggling with the physical demands in Russia, in what is the 34-year-old's final World Cup.Iniesta, whose goal won the title for Spain in 2010, started each of Spain's group games but lasted the duration just once.
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