Vicente Del Bosque has looked ahead to Friday’s friendly between Spain and Chile, and held caution over La Roja’s opponents.
The Spain Coach was quick to recognise the team under the leadership of Claudio Borghi have maintained previous Coach Marcelo Bielsa’s ‘mechanisms’ and that the footballers at Borghi’s disposal are ‘courageous players who can play aggressive football’.
The meeting is a repeat of the June 25, 2010 World Cup Group H meeting at Loftus Versfield Stadium at Pretoria that La Roja won 2-1 on their way to becoming world champions. First-half goals from David Villa and Andres Iniesta were enough to see of Bielsa’s side, even as Rodrigo Millar pulled one goal back for the South Americans who also progressed from the group stages only to be eliminated in the Last 16 by Brazil.
Spain also won the previous meeting between the teams – a 3-0 friendly win in November 2008, and stretching back to their first meeting at the 1950 World Cup, the teams have met eight times and Chile have not beaten their opponents at senior level – although do have an 2000 Olympics win on the record books.
The game is being seen as Del Bosque’s chance to repair any broken relations in the dressing room, as Spanish teammates clashed when representing Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana.
However, Iker Casillas did move to placate things with Xavi Hernandez Carles Puyol with a phone call, and Del Bosque has suggested there is no issue: “There is no problem. Players are from generous clubs and know the difference between playing for their clubs and representing their country in Spanish football. They also know how hard and short a career it is, so want to enjoy every last day and to always try to win.”
Spain also go into the game having dropped from top spot in the world rankings for the first time since winning the World Cup last summer whilst should he feature in Switzerland, Xavi will drew level with Raul Gonzalez on 102 caps.