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Puyol against Spain overhaul

Carles Puyol does not believe a drastic overhaul of the Spain national team is necessary despite their failure at the FIFA World Cup.

Defending champions Spain endured a nightmare campaign in Brazil, losing two of their three Group B fixtures as they were eliminated at the first hurdle at the World Cup.

Spain’s group-stage exit marked the first time the European nation had failed to reach the knockout phase since France 1998, when they finished third behind Nigeria and Paraguay in Group D.

It also cast doubt over coach Vicente del Bosque and veterans such as Iker Casillas (33), Xavi (34), Andres Iniesta (30), Xabi Alonso (32) and David Villa (32).

Xavi and Spain’s all-time leading scorer Villa have since announced their international retirements.

But former international defender Puyol – capped 100 times by the national team – does not buy into the theory that major changes are needed ahead of their title defence at the UEFA European Championships in 2016.

“I’m not a big fan of revolutions,” Puyol told FIFA.com. “People nearly always call for them when a team that’s triumphed a great deal goes a year without winning anything.

“For me, however, the experience gained in previous victories is important.

“The rebuilding should be done in a measured way, without undoing what has already been accomplished. As we say in Catalan, you need to use seny (common sense).

“We have great players and, while some of them may have taken part in their last major competition, we should let them and the coach discuss the future, and not make rash decisions in the heat of the moment.

“I still believe that the current crop is very good and that there’ll be top quality players in the years to come. Right now we have to be strong, look to the future and learn from our mistakes.”

Tue 22 July, 2014
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