Vicente Del Bosque has said he has almost decided on his starting XI for Spain’s World Cup opener against the Netherlands on June 13.
AS has reported the Coach confirmed on Radio Marca that he would use La Roja’s final pre-tournament friendly – against El Salvador on Saturday – to assess the fitness of Diego Costa and Juanfran.
Del Bosque also commended the overall fitness of the squad and said he isn’t looking past the initial game against the beaten 2010 finalists.
“The first match is what worries me. They’re a team that is well-organised, well-run and will surely pose many difficulties,” he said.
“We’ve decided on nine or 10 players and there are two doubts, which is normal.
“We don’t want [Diego Costa and Juanfran] to risk injury but we want to see them in a game and I hope the outcome is good.
“If we can see them in the match against El Salvador, then even better.
“You wouldn’t think we were in the end of the season. The players are physically talented and are playing for something. They are training well and will arrive in good condition.
“The competition is tough but in terms of fitness levels, I don’t think we have to worry. We know we will play in conditions with a lot of heat and humidity.”
Jesus Navas was left out of the squad for Brazil amid speculation Del Bosque was concerned with the Manchester City winger’s fitness, although Navas said upon being left out that he was ready.
Del Bosque was reluctant to talk too much about the decision but alluded to a concern regarding the former Sevilla wide man.
“We are very happy with Jesus as he is a player who gives us something different,” he began.
“But something happened on the 15th. But I don’t want to go into a timeline of what has happened. We had a bit of a scare but I don’t want to justify why Jesus was left out.”
Del Bosque added that the tournament was another chance for Spain to play on the biggest stage – and it is that which excites some of the players, while he feels a sense of duty about his job.
“We have a great motivation ahead. It’s a unique showcase,” he continued.
“I have no other aim but to fulfil my responsibility and try to do my best. Hopefully luck falls on our behalf and we do our job.”
Del Bosque was inadvertently at the centre of some controversy when he and Gerard Pique were overheard discussing Cesc Fabregas’ proposed move from Barcelona to Chelsea.
The conversation was picked up by microphones in place for a Press conference and the Coach rued the revelation of a private exchange.
“I don’t want to talk about that. I think what’s come out is in bad taste,” he said.
“I don’t want to say anything. These are the things we’re exposed to.
“[Cesc’s transfer] is a decision for the club and I won’t judge. He’s a Spain player, he’s been perfect in training and is a very helpful player.”