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Del Bosque: We’re expecting a much tougher Italy

by Heath Chesters | Posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque expects a stiff challenge for his team, in Wednesday night’s friendly match against Italy, whilst also believing that preparations ahead of the World Cup this summer, are as good as they can be.

Vicente Del Bosque

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Holding his pre-match press conference, ahead of Wednesday’s friendly match against Italy, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque was first asked how he feels Diego Costa is settling in with the rest of the squad.

“I’ve not noticed any differences about the integration of Diego Costa, to any other player. Every thing we do here, is as normal.”

As for the game itself against Italy, Del Bosque is clearly looking forward to a clash of titans in the world game, as well as a much stronger side than they’ve previously faced in official tournaments.

“It’s an attractive game, important, between champions of the world. Hopefully both teams are up to the standards of what we’ve achieved.”

“We’re expecting to face a team similar to that of the first game of the European Championships, or of the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. In the 2012 final, they faced us very depleted by injuries. Now though, we’re expecting a much tougher Italy, because they’ve brought a powerful team with them. It will be a very even game.”

When it comes to the preparations leading up to the World Cup finals, heading into the final hundred days until the tournament begins, given the clock is now ticking, Del Bosque was asked if preparations have been ideal or if more games could have been scheduled.

“We haven’t got any more space. We’re playing two games ahead of the World Cup, in Sevilla and Washington. Fortunately we have a stable group of players, but it’s the same ahead of the tournament for all the national teams.”

Asked if there’s any significance to Fernando Llorente being left out of this latest squad, Del Bosque pointed out that other strikers have also missed the call this time.

“He’s a player who we hold in very high regard, but there’s a lot of competition in this squad. We’ve left out Soldado, Llorente, Torres, Villa… players who are normally here, but we can’t choose everyone.”

Finally and with reference to the press call scheduled by Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, ahead of a suspected announcement that he’ll leave at the end of the season, Del Bosque simply and briefly gave his praise to the man.

“He’s an example to everyone, on and off the pitch.”



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