Vicente del Bosque plans to keep faith with Spain’s veteran stars for Euro 2016 despite their group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Defending world champions Spain went out at the first hurdle following defeats to Netherlands and Chile, with David Villa, Xabi Alonso and Xavi among those to quit international football in the aftermath.
But coach Del Bosque has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to Spain’s line-up as they eased through qualifying for Euro 2016, finishing top of their group, with the likes of Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos still key players for the double-defending European champions.
“I really believe in the veterans who have spent a long time with us and we trust the newcomers who give the squad an impulse and fresh blood,” he told reporters.
“Our objective is to think further than the two European Championships we’ve won, because people are only going to value what we do in the next one.
“For some it will be their last big tournament and for others the first and to get that mix you can’t look back nor forward. We have to live in the immediate present.”
Diego Costa is among the established players whose place is under threat, with young stars such as Alvaro Morata and Paco Alcacer breaking through, while experienced pair Fernando Torres and Aritz Aduriz have enjoyed stellar seasons.
“Diego can be judged on whether he plays well or not but he hasn’t committed any crime, his conduct with us has always been correct,” Del Bosque said.
“There have been some episodes which haven’t been edifying, but he has always shown a great attitude with us and we appreciate that.”