Spain’s players dismissed notions that a 5-1 loss to the Netherlands spelled the end of an era for the world champions, although coach Vicente del Bosque said it might be time to shake up the lineup for a crucial match against Chile.
‘‘I think the majority of people have confidence in us. We accept criticism, but it’s crazy to talk about the end of an era,’’ defender Sergio Ramos said Saturday, a day after Spain endured its worst competitive defeat in 64 years.
‘‘Excuses are for losers and Spain has a winning mentality, and that will never change.’’
Spain’s bid to repeat as world champion could end if it loses Wednesday’s match against Chile at the Maracana. Chile beat Australia, 3-1, in the other Group B match Friday.
Del Bosque defended his decision to stick with some of the squad’s older players, saying players such as Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas, and Xabi Alonso were the backbone of a team that has provided so much of its success, including qualifying for Brazil.
‘‘I sense these players are not too old, but I say that with some hesitation,’’ Del Bosque said.
‘‘One problem is that we have been so used to having everything go our way. In the face of tough matches we should be prepared to face adversity.’’
Aussies lose Franjic
Ivan Franjic has been ruled out of the remainder of Australia’s campaign after injuring his left hamstring in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Chile.
Franjic was replaced early in the second half and Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said medical scans showed a ‘‘fairly significant tear.’’
Not a welcome guest
A short fuse
Hardly a free market
Argentines hit Rio
‘‘Copacabana belongs to Argentina,’’ shouted Roberto Pons, rubbing his eyes clear of pepper spray as his long, gray hair flowed down his bare back to his Speedo swimsuit.
The 42-year-old air conditioning repairman was one of about 2,000 rambunctious Argentines who amassed on Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beach to declare the superiority of their team — even before it had taken the field.
An estimated 50,000 Argentines are believed to have descended on Rio ahead of Argentina’s match against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday. Many Brazilians disdainfully speak of an Argentine ‘‘invasion’’ in this most Brazilian of Brazil’s cities.
Fans dressed in the blue and white colors of the nation’s flag hopped in place to a steady drumbeat, taunting any English supporter who happened to walk by with an in-your-face stadium chant: ‘‘The one not jumping is a Brit!’’
Another diehard fan wearing a white robe, peaked cap, and mask resembling Pope Francis, who is from Buenos Aires, walked around barefoot blessing anyone who crossed his path.
As the crowd swelled, a group of vastly outnumbered riot police deployed pepper spray to keep them from blocking traffic on the six-lane Avenida Atlantica running along Copacabana Beach.
‘‘You’re acting like little children,’’ barked one cop, night stick drawn.
US draws Eriksson
The World Cup opener for the United States against Ghana in Natal will be refereed by Jonas Eriksson of Sweden.
Eriksson is a full-time referee who worked the 2012 European Championship.