Del Bosque: No problem calling Casillas

Vicente Del Bosque has no problem calling up Iker Casillas to the Spain squad despite the goalkeeper losing his place at Real Madrid.

Casillas has been challenged by Diego Lopez but Del Bosque told Libertad FM that as long as Casillas is fit, he has a place with La Roja.

“He is active and training,” Del Bosque said. “He is playing in the Champions League and I don’t see any problems. Physically he’s fine.”

Del Bosque was also asked about Spain’s rivals at this summer’s World Cup, starting with the group stage opposition, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia.

“We are in the process of gathering data on all teams. We know Holland was a finalist in the World Cup and Chile has a very good team. Australia is the most anonymous but we have the utmost respect,” he said.

“The Netherlands have changed the most. They have retained some players but most are new and young. They have one of the greatest Coaches of all time (Louis van Gaal).

“We have been fighting with Chile. They play very collectively, as a team, and have potential and good players individually.”

Del Bosque gave few details about his squad for the tournament, admitting only to having a number of names under consideration.

“We have a very extensive list with many possibilities,” he revealed. “On May 26 we will more or less give the final list and have plenty of time to select who we will select.

“We have many strikers and midfielders but there are people in many other positions. We only have to pick 23.”

On the chances of Diego Costa being part of the chosen 23, Del Bosque gave little away. “What will happen will happen.

“It is normal that a guy plays like that on the field, showing energy and character. Away from the pitch he is a gentle, loving and kind boy. All Spaniards are going to be with him.”

Del Bosque also revealed he would be willing to call up some of Spain’s younger stars if they do enough to earn a place in the squad.

“There are a few names, Muniain, Morata, Jesse, Deulofeu , Alberto Moreno, Montoya, Carvajal, Bartra , Inigo Martínez … There are many players who can be with us perfectly.”

Spain have lined up a pre-tournament friendly with Italy and Del Bosque has confirmed the fixture will go ahead.

“I think it’s confirmed we will play on March 5, at the Calderon. It seems there was an attempt to cancel it but I think it’ll go ahead.”

When asked which countries could conceivably win the tournament this summer, Del Bosque said: “There are great teams in Europe and South America.

“Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo. There’s also Russia, and Belgium have a large selection of new, very young players.

“In South America there is Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile. Even Africa has Ghana and Ivory Coast. These are very powerful teams.”

Del Bosque is confident that Spain’s preparations in Brazil have been good and he is not concerned about the climate.

“The federation investigated the site conditions. They say the weather is good. In some games there will be more heat, but where we will be the weather is cooler.”

On domestic matters, Del Bosque called for the weekend’s meeting of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to be played in the right spirit.

“I don’t think they’ll go too far. They have realised they have to represent their teams and behaviour is very important.”

On the topic of the Ballon d’Or, Del Bosque said: “I have no idea who will win. I don’t care much. On Monday the 13th I’ll be watching. But there’s no shame in losing. The three candidates (Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi) are very good.

“I think for Spanish football it’s very good to have Ronaldo and Messi. They have very short runs of not scoring goals. It’s a privilege for the Spanish League to have them.”

Del Bosque added that while he misses aspects of coaching a team day-to-day, being the Coach of the national team has its positives.

“I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, but the day-to-day of a club is good, with more communication. Here it is more difficult. But I’m happy. At a club there is more friction, but not here.”

Tags Ballon d'Or Casillas Cristiano Ronaldo Del Bosque Diego Costa Messi Spain World Cup