‘Spain more confident with Lopetegui’

Thiago Alcantara admits Spain “have more confidence” with Julen Lopetegui as the midfielder is enjoying working with his former Under-21 boss.

Spain have won five and drawn two of their seven games under Lopetegui since his appointment last summer, with the Coach calling on several of his 2013 European champions aside from Thiago, including David de Gea, Dani Carvajal, Isco, Koke and Alvaro Morata.

"It's normal to have more confidence with Julen because he was my Coach in the Under-21s and for many players that are here,” the Bayern Munich man said at a Press conference for Tuesday’s friendly against France.

“We know him more and he knows us. We can take fulfilment from knowing him on a footballing level and that makes things a little easier.

“You’re better when you play alongside great players, I’m lucky to be able to play with great footballers for both my club and country, who let me enjoy myself.

“It all comes naturally when you’re well physically and healthy.

“Your level of football grows when you have top players around you. It’s clear that with such big figures, you feel better, you want to be part of things and enjoy them.

“Hitting the bar against Israel? It was a shame because it was a beautiful move, but the important thing is that we got the three points like we did.

“Another important thing is that we keep picking up points so we reach the match against Italy with the same number of points as them or, if we’re lucky and they trip up, we take advantage of that.

“We have three tall players in Sergio [Ramos], Gerard [Pique] and Diego Costa. You can choose any one of them.

“You [reporters] often look to Sergio for his strength, but I owe some passes to Diego, who played the entire game [against Israel] asking me to pass to him!

“My satisfaction doesn’t come from making assists, it’s the final victory and seeing how everyone played.”

Tags Julen Lopetegui Spain Thiago Alcantara