Del Bosque: Iker prejudiced against

Vicente del Bosque believes that Iker Casillas has been prejudiced against for helping to ease relations between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Madrid captain, together with Xavi Hernandez, is widely seen as having united members of the two Clasico sides during their work with the national squad, even as relations at club level threatened to sour.

For La Roja’s Coach, this action taken by the Madrid man has resulted in his image having taken a knock in the capital, where he has struggled in the last nine months for game-time.

“Iker has been prejudiced for pacifying the relationship between Madrid and Barca,” Del Bosque has reflected on Onda Cero today.

“In the difficult moments with the national team, when matches between Madrid and Barca were tense, it was Iker who helped and contributed to the team progressing forward and continuing to win things like the last tournament [the 2012 European Championships]. That was not looked upon kindly and Casillas has come out of it harmed. He was a very important man in the coexistence of our team.

“It is because of this radicalism of the fans that has football seen only through passion and the animosity towards rivals.

“Casillas is well, he is happy. He has a good relationship with everyone, regardless of their club colours, which is as it should be when an athlete defends his country.

“Many times those who are considered most patriotic are those that become most radicalised. Everyone should think that the Spanish team are above all else, or at least parallel to the interests of the clubs.”

Speculation still suggests that Victor Valdes will get the nod over Casillas for Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Finland.

“We are confident in the three goalkeepers and their ability to play. If they are mentally prepared, then we have the problem of choosing which one. Whichever we choose will be accepted and supproted by the other two, whilst on the other hand criticised in the open debate on the subject.

“We are in the early season and there are no major differences between those who have played or those who have not. Later on, we shall see.”

Del Bosque was talking ahead of Spain’s World Cup qualifier on Friday evening away to Finland, who surprisingly, in the reverse fixture back in March hosted in Gijon, held La Roja to a 1-1 draw.

“I have rewatched the match in Gijon against Finland many times and it seems incredible that we did not win. We were far superior but did not kill off the game.

“We fixed the situation by winning in France, but we are still in a compromising position in the qualification. This is a key game.

“Our absences? We have an important block of players that over time has achieved success, and whilst we have some important players absent, we have confidence in those who are coming in.”

Training this week has suggested Koke Resurreccion will get a start in the uncharacteristic position of right-back.

“He is a disciplined boy, energetic, he is a marvel, with quality and good on the ball. He has the quality to be able to play anywhere. He will handle it if he ends up playing there.”

Spain find out tomorrow if Madrid has been successful in their bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It is a difficult time for our country, and the Olympics would provide a boost. From the moment they could be elected, policies would be put in place to promote our economy.”

Tags Casillas Clasico Del Bosque Finland Koke Spain