‘Spain can’t take players with problems’

Vicente Del Bosque has said he won’t gamble on anyone’s fitness as Spain prepare to defend the World Cup.

The Coach today announced a 19-man squad for next week’s friendly with Bolivia, naming 18 of his 30-man preliminary group and Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu, who has been called into the party to cover for the absences of the Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid players.

No one from either of the Champions League finalists will be involved against the South Americans, with Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas also not included.

Del Bosque outlined his thinking behind the decision at a Press conference, and also confirmed that he will not name the final 23-man tournament squad until the last possible moment.

“It’s a tough list after yesterday’s game. We have eight potential players who would join the list,” AS reports Del Bosque as saying.

“That would be 26 players. After Bolivia we will discard three.

“On the second [of June] we have to deliver the final list. There are players with physical problems and we have to certify that they are in good condition.

“We would like all players to be able to train. The World Cup begins with the first game and we want all the players to be well, so they can get to the game against the Netherlands on June 13.

“We can’t take players who have problems.”

Del Bosque repeated the need for players to be fit when asked about Atletico striker Diego Costa, who was forced off after less than 10 minutes of the Champions League final with his hamstring injury still a bother.

“We are in touch with all the players. Except Juanfran and Costa in principle there will be no more alterations,” Del Bosque added.

“Jordi Alba, Raul Albiol, Xavi Hernandez, it seems they are right.

“No one is discarded yet, only Thiago Alcantara [who is injured]. Navas is recovering, Negredo and Llorente aren’t removed from the 23.

“[Llorente] had a great season at Juventus and we don’t know of any bad news.

“We have thought that [Fernando Torres], beyond his numbers, has had a good feeling. He has always given us good performances.”

Del Bosque was asked why he named Deulofeu in the group and if there are any other candidates for inclusion, such as Benfica’s Rodrigo.

“We have confidence in [Deulofeu]. He had great performances at Everton and we are very confident. We think of him as a solution in case of casualties,” the Coach replied.

“Rodrigo is selectable. We have followed him, like everyone. He has been very influential in the ranks of the national team and he’s a striker we like.”

Tags Spain Vicente Del Bosque World Cup 2014