Xavi ‘surprised’ by Del Bosque stance

Xavi Hernandez admits he was “surprised” by Vicente del Bosque’s decision to publicise details of his strained relationship with Iker Casillas at Euro 2016.

Del Bosque confessed Casillas was “unhappy” with his role as David de Gea’s goalkeeping deputy and felt “anger” towards Spain’s coaching staff prior to the country’s last-16 exit at the hands of Italy, and while Xavi backed the pair to reconcile, he did not expect the Coach to be so forthright.

“I spoke to Iker and I’m convinced that they will patch things up, although I was surprised the Coach went public,” the former Barcelona midfielder told Cuatro.

“They’re two excellent people. They’ve got on very well for all these years. The two were important [to Spain’s success], they coped a lot during the time of troubled relations between Barcelona and Real Madrid to ensure everything was a success.

“I’ve gone two years without playing for the national team, so I don’t know how they coexisted [in France].

“I spoke to Iker before Del Bosque’s statements. He’s calm and feeling gine. We spoke about a little bit of everything.

“The key to our tournament [failure] was Croatia’s [winning] goal. The bad side of the draw hurt us.

“We have to respect [Lionel] Messi and it’s great news that Neymar is staying at the club for many more years.”

Tags Euro 2016 Iker Casillas Lionel Messi Neymar Spain Vicente Del Bosque Xavi Hernandez