Spain worried poor pitch conditions could harm passing game at World Cup

Spain is worried that poor pitch conditions in Brazil could hurt its playing style as it tries to defend its World Cup title.

Spain often preaches the importance of a well-maintained playing surface for its quick-passing, possession-based game, which it said let it down in a 1-1 opening draw against Italy at Euro 2012.

Spain striker Diego Costa says "the field has to be wet and well-groomed" for Friday's opener against the Netherlands at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova.

That is looking like a tall at some venues.

Italy and England play Saturday at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus where, where the pitch is dry with white stripes visible.

The grass being used at World Cup venues combines European and South American seeds — with the latter known for slowing the ball.