Del Bosque: Age won’t shape Spain

Vicente del Bosque says age will not determine who makes his Spain squad, as he defends Xavi Hernandez and Alvaro Arbeloa.

La Roja have come under scrutiny for the manner of defeat in last weekend’s Confederations Cup Final 3-0 reverse to Brazil.

However, in considering the tournament, the Del Bosque has rejected the notion that Xavi or any of the other senior players will not return to the South American country next summer due to their age.

“Why won’t Xavi return to his best level? I do not believe that for his age he is unfit for the national team for next year’s World Cup,” the 62-year-old commented to RTVE.

“Age is not a reason to remove anyone from the squad. Performance is a reason. We are always expectant.”

Full-back Arbeloa also came in for criticism for his performance against the Selecao.

“Arbeloa is a very safe full-back, who had an excellent championship, beyond whether he is liked or not.

“Iker Casillas? He is not guilty of anything. If anyone is responsible, then we all are. We have all lost together. We are altogether for good and for bad. There is no-one to blame.

“It was a good tournament that was marred by the last game. We fell short in the final game, but for the rest of it we performed well.

“For the Confederations Cup we chose a different playing model, one that was more attacking. It has earned us a final. We have played good football, but the last game has tarnished what was done before.

“We were not overcome by Brazil primarily on a physical aspect. All of our players are physical wonders as they have demonstrated over the past five years and how they have shown each week with their clubs.”

Del Bosque was asked for his view on Isco, who has just moved from Malaga to Real Madrid and starred for the Under-21s this summer in Israel.

“He’s a guy that we have high hopes for. He debuted for the team in Qatar [against Uruguay] and he is the future of the team.”

Tags 2014 World Cup Arbeloa Casillas Confederations Cup Del Bosque Isco Spain Xavi