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Del Bosque defends La Liga standard

Vicente del Bosque does not feel Spanish football is declining, picking Real Madrid and Barcelona as the teams to beat in Europe.

The Spanish league is usually a two-horse race between Real Madrid and Barca, and has been criticised for its lack of competitiveness, despite Atletico Madrid sitting second this term.

However, Del Bosque has stressed that La Liga has more to offer than just the two traditional powerhouses, and feels things are looking good for the state of the country’s football.

“Spanish football is not in decline. Players like (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo do not score this much because the opposition is poor,” the Spain coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Four out of the remaining 16 teams in the Champions League are from Spain. The final of last year’s Europa League was a match between two Spanish teams. And Atletico are on the rise again.

“Barcelona and Madrid are winning most of their games, but they are extraordinary teams. They are the favourites to win the Champions League for me.”

Barcelona will have to deal with AC Milan in the round of 16, while Real Madrid meet Manchester United.

Tue 12 Feb, 2013
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