Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes Sergio Busquets can fill the role of Xavi as the national team’s leader in midfield.
Del Bosque’s men will go into Euro 2016 as one of the favourites as they chase a third consecutive continental title.
Spain will be without Xavi, who retired after last year’s World Cup having made 133 international appearances.
But Del Bosque feels Busquets is capable of matching what Xavi did for his nation in midfield, with the duo having played at Barcelona together.
“Sergio and Xavi are different type of players,” he told www.sc.qa.
“But Sergio is certainly a midfielder who will lead the team like Xavi did. And, of course, we still have [Andres] Iniesta, David Silva, [Cesc] Fabregas and Santi Cazorla.
“All these players have served us well and are still very good. We also have the young Thiago [Alcantara] and Koke.”
Chelsea’s poor Premier League form would be a concern for Del Bosque, with Spaniards Cesc Fabregas, Pedro, Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta all part of Jose Mourinho’s squad.
Del Bosque said there was still time for the quartet to impress.
“For the last international call-up we had four Chelsea players,” he said.
“However, we still have four months until our next friendlies in March, and a little more longer to go for the Euro, and we value them as much as all the others.
“We will try to bring the best to France.”