Luis Aragones has revised his opinion that Spain are the best team in the world and has now conceded that four or five countries have potentially stronger national sides.
Spain moved top of the Fifa world rankings following their stylish Euro 2008 triumph and Aragones hailed his players as the best on the planet, but he has now had a rethink.
He insists that Spain were worthy winners of the tournament in Austria and Switzerland but accepts it will be more difficult at the World Cup against the likes of Argentina and Brazil.
"We had a brilliant competition, but there are still four or five countries that are a level above Spain. Brazil and Argentina have greater strength," Aragones told Argentina's Perfil.
"Spain was the best at the European Championships. There is a team with some very technical players, that solved the small problems in defence and had the best attack of any team."
Aragones believes the constant talk about Spain always falling at the quarter-final stage made things hard for his squad, prior to the victory over Italy on penalties in the last eight.
"There were harmful comments made, like the fact that we always went out in the quarter-finals. I know the players felt that and it was difficult," he continued.
Aragones' decision to leave fans' favourite Raul out of his squad was not well received before the tournament but he maintained there were other options and he has now been proved right.
"No player is untouchable," said Aragones, who has now taken charge of Fenerbahce.
"There are media players, the ones that press and fans want, but one has to be mentally strong and carry on with what you believe.
"Raul has possibly been one of the best Spanish players ever, but I thought about others players that could bring more."