Del Bosque warning for Spain

Date published: Tuesday 13th August 2013 5:26

The likes of Xavi, Juan Mata and Gerard Pique have all been left of out the squad, while Cesc Fabregas is injured, with Del Bosque drafting in three stars of Spain’s Under-21 European Championship-winning team.

Inigo Martinez, who has been called up because Pique is suspended for Spain’s next World Cup qualifier against Finland, gets his chance to impress along with Koke and Thiago Alcantara.

Spain are world and European champions and they have lost just once in their last 24 matches – a 3-0 defeat to hosts Brazil in the Confederations Cup final earlier this summer.

“We have a responsibility,” Del Bosque told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“Due to our recent successes, our football is admired and we cannot let this game become a mere formality. We’re going to do a good job.”

Del Bosque also recognises the value of introducing some of Spain’s young stars to senior international football as he looks to maintain the country’s remarkable success.

Former Spain captain Fernando Hierro, who had a hand in Del Bosque’s appointment as head coach, believes achieving that could be his greatest challenge.

“I’m one of those who think it’s going to be very tough to replace this extraordinary generation of players,” Hierro told

“There’s no shortage of new players but, when you’re talking about becoming world or European champions, you’re talking about the very best in the world. That’s always hard to find.

“I’m a real fan of these players because they’re representing Spanish football in the best possible way, by their actions on and off the pitch. They’re normal people who really understand what success means, who are respectful in victory and in defeat.

“When you go around the world you realise how much admiration there is for Spanish football. Five years ago, that was unthinkable.”

Ecuador midfielder Pedro Quinonez believes the changes Spain have made for the game make them more, not less, dangerous.

“Apparently (Spain) are coming with a new team, which will make it more difficult still, because those who come for the first time try to show himself to his coach,” Quinonez told a press conference.

Ecuador are without Antonio Valencia and also, tragically, the former Birmingham striker Christian Benitez, who died suddenly earlier this month.

The Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda is set to include both Quinonez and the goalkeeper Maximo Banguera despite their clash after a recent club match.

Quinonez suffered convulsions after being struck by Banguera, who later apologised for losing his temper after Emelec had beaten the Ecuadorian Barcelona.

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