Vicente del Bosque has revealed that he had to talk Xavi Hernandez out of retiring from international football after the European Championships.
The Barcelona midfielder, who has represented his country 119 times since debuting in 2000, apparently considered the idea of leaving the Spanish national scene during the tournament that Spain won in Ukraine and Poland this summer.
“Xavi hinted at wanting to leave the Seleccion. He could have been tempted to have retired from the team, but I believe he was encouraged by the success at the Euros and that he felt comfortable, he feels as if he is 28, which is strong,” Del Bosque revealed to Onda Cero this week.
“His football is a result of his physical fitness, because he is in very good physical condition and has physical talents. But, his football is also based on good technique and good vision.
“He is a key man, he is well-educated, analytical, sees things and has an opinion. Yes, I spoke to him before the final. I told him that it was a good moment to continue playing, that he was a key man for us.
“We are obliged to tell the truth for what he has done and what he still is for this team.”
The Coach also again discussed David Villa’s situation at Barcelona and Swansea City’s Michu as a player who ‘moves seamlessly between the lines’, before commenting on attempts to promote Barca youngster Gerard Deulofeu to the senior Spanish squad.
Of course we have tried. We even made an attempt to call him up. We had consultations and it was determined that it was not advisable.
“His time with the Under-21s and at Barcelona have shown good performances and we are very attentive. He is one of those players that if he can exploit his talent will be one of the best.”
Del Bosque was also probed for a view on Jose Mourinho’s work at Real Madrid this season and his public criticism of the club’s youth policy, but former Madrid man Del Bosque declined much comment beyond: “I do not stop to look for enemies.”