Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has dismissed suggestions Barcelona and Real Madrid have been trying to convince him not to use any of their players in the upcoming international friendlies against Italy and Romania.
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets was sent home earlier this week due to a finger injury, while Andres Iniesta was not called up due to fitness concerns, leading to speculation Del Bosque was acting on the Catalans’ request ahead of the upcoming Clasico.
Nevertheless, Del Bosque has insisted there is no truth in such claims.
“It is absolutely not true that some clubs have been pressuring us not to use their players in these friendlies,” Del Bosque said at a news conference.
“Absolutely no-one, from no club whatsoever. Not from one of the big clubs, nor someone from one of the small clubs. It infuriates me when I read stuff like that. We have never received any recommendations not to call up or field any players.
“In Busquets’ case, he was sent home because of a problem with his finger. We all saw what happened in the match against Villarreal.
“As for Iniesta, he is not in the squad because of a minor problem. He could not play for Barcelona against Villarreal either.”
Spain will be looking to win their third consecutive European title at Euro 2016 in France, but Del Bosque has warned it will not be easy for the titleholders.
“You are always aiming for the best, which is the title,” he added.
“We want to achieve the best thing possible, without losing sight of reality. The differences between the various teams are very small.
“We will be defending the title we won four years ago against Italy. That final was probably our best game.”