Giovanni Trapattoni says Spain have improved since winning Euro 2012, and that their midfield combination play is so good they are now even better than Pele's Brazil side.
The Ireland manager watched his side suffer a 4-0 defeat during the group stages in Poland 12 months ago, and be outclassed again by La Roja during last Tuesday's 2-0 friendly defeat in New York.
The Irish put up more of a fight second time around, and were two superb Iker Casillas saves and a linesman's flag away from an equaliser late during the game at Yankees Stadium. But the Italian said that, as Spain's players knew each other even better now, they had passed the level of the team often rated the best to have ever played the game.
"We played against Spain at the last Euros and I can have faith that they are even stronger now than a year ago," Trapattoni told AS. "The secret is that they are capable of playing with their eyes closed and as a result it is practically impossible to neutralise the 'touch' play of their midfielders. I have never seen a team play with such precision at such pace. They are even stronger, better than Pele's Brazil."
Trapattoni had praise for his fellow coaching veteran Vicente del Bosque, saying the job of bringing all Spain's individual parts together was not as easy as it looked.
"[Del Bosque] has the fortune to count on so much talent together, but he also known how to make the machine work and to order things so that they all feel important," Trap said. "That is not easy."
The only thing which could stop Spain adding this month's Confederations Cup to their Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 trophies was the conditions in Brazil, Trapattoni suggested.
"The Confederations Cup will be an interesting experiment," he said. "All football lovers are hoping for a Brazil-Spain final in the Maracana, but before that both have to overcome very strong opponents, all champions.
"Spain, furthermore, will have to adapt and overcome the climate and humidity of Brazil. That is the only question they have to answer, because if they adapt to the conditions, Spain have the players to win everything."