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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

Despite his fellow countrymen’s final heartbreak, Roberto Martinez insists he enjoyed his opportunity to cover the recent Confederations Cup.

The Everton boss was an in-studio pundit for ESPN’s coverage of the tournament out in Brazil and watched on as the hosts claimed the title after defeating Spain 3-0.

That result, however, failed to dampen his enjoyment of the eight-team competition that preludes the World Cup.

Speaking to evertontv, the Spaniard said: “It was a very exciting tournament, I must admit. It's one of those events where you don't know how the teams are going to approach it - especially the European sides.

“I was very surprised in the manner that Italy and Spain did, with a real desire to win the trophy. You always expect the home nation and the other Confederations winners to take it very seriously, but I was very impressed with the manner that the whole tournament displayed outstanding moments.”

On the final itself, he added: “I'm sure everyone enjoyed the final. It was one of those moments where you need to appreciate the good things Brazil did that day.

“It's accepted that now when you play Spain, everyone focuses a bit more on the opposition to see what they have done to try to stop the dominance of this Spanish side. When you look at the game from that point of view, you don't become a fan, what you do is appreciate what Brazil did on the day to make Spain look a little bit lost and like a team that had few answers to what Brazil showed.
“Clearly, it's given them fantastic preparation towards the World Cup in a year's time.”

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