Hitzfeld’s men take on the South Americans in their tournament opener as Switzerland aim to replicate their run to the knockout stage in 2006.
Switzerland are viewed as second favourites behind France to win Group E, while Ecuador are tipped as outsiders for progression.
But Hitzfeld, set to retire from coaching at the end of the World Cup, is wary of Ecuador’s threat on the counter-attack in Brasilia.
“Ecuador is a team which not just includes Antonio Valencia or Felipe Caicedo. Enner Valancia, (Jefferson) Montero or (Christian) Noboa are fantastic players, who drive their offensive game,” Hitzfeld said.
“Also the counters are a big strength of Ecuador. When they have enough space they can change very quickly.”
Switzerland were drawn as one of the top seeds for the competition and are currently ranked sixth in the world.
However, despite losing just four of their last 32 games, Hitzfeld insists Switzerland should be looking no further than the second round.
“Dreams are made to come true,” the German added.
“We already made a dream come true by being here in Brazil. My dream is to reach the last 16 and then we are allowed to dream more intensively.”
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