Vicente Del Bosque will take a Spain squad to Euro 2016 that he feels has a ‘positive mix’ of veterans nearing the end and youngsters taking their first steps.
Del Bosque has been interviewed in the Daily Telegraph ahead of pre-tournament friendlies with Italy and Romania but spent some of the discussion reflecting on La Roja’s dismal World Cup defence in Brazil two years ago.
“It’s not easy to manage defeat but I think my players showed themselves to be true sportsmen,” he said.
“We shared the blame for our collective failure. The Spanish accused us of being mercenaries, miserable sportsmen, ridiculous in defeat.
“And yet as [former prime minister] Felipe Gonzalez says, losing as much as winning can prove a source of strength and emotional stability.”
Spain have claimed the last two editions of the European Championships and Del Bosque predicted they won’t give up the trophy without a fight, due to the balance of the team he’ll name for France.
“We are going to France as defending champions and we are going to resist everyone who tries to take the trophy away from us,” he vowed.
“We have older players who want to win because this will be their last major international tournament, and younger players who want to win something important for the first time in their lives.
“They all feel passionate about football. It’s a positive mix.”