Vicente del Bosque says that whilst Borja Valero, Jose Callejon and Fernando Llorente have impressed in Serie A, he is struggling for space in Spain.
The in form trio all missed out on a spot in Del Bosque’s latest squad for Wednesday evening’s friendly in Madrid against Italy.
Talking to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the 63-year-old Champions League, World Cup and European Championship winner looked to explain why.
“Today those who are not aware of what is happening abroad do not watch television,” began Del Bosque in response.
“I know Borja perfectly, and since he was a kid. I have watched Fiorentina often recently and he has previously been called up with us.
“But the competition in midfield is tremendous. It is impossible to call up everyone.
“Callejon? He is doing very well, clearly he has the chance to be called up. This list is not definitive, it is only valid for the match with Italy.
“But, I repeat, we have serious problems to fit into the squad the many excellent pieces that we have.
“Is Llorente the most obvious absence? Yes, but someone from Chelsea may be wondering why Fernando Torres isn’t here, or from Tottenham on why Roberto Soldado isn’t, or from Atletico Madrid about David Villa.
“It is not easy. For Fernando, it is important that he has moved on from what he experienced last year in Bilbao, that he now plays with continuity and is in contention at Juventus.
“He is happy, the club also, so it is good. And he knows that we appreciate him very much, that he is not called up is one thing that bothers us.”
Del Bosque was asked why, with the competition for places, that it is necessary to call up Brazilian born Diego Costa to the attack.
“With Italy plays Dani Osvaldo, no? And he is an ‘Italian national’. We must believe that this argument has passed. Costa is eligible to play with us, legally and technically.
“He is playing well with Atletico Madrid, he is a striker who can compete with all other strikers at our disposal and who also has different characteristics from the others.
“Anyway, it must be remembered that he can play against Italy [for Spain] and then go to the World Cup with Brazil.
“Regulation does not allow him to play for a third country, but since this is a friendly with Italy, he can always go back on his steps.
“This is not a final resolution on either side. This match is not binding for Diego Costa.”
The former Real Madrid man was asked of his impressions of Italy’s leading striker, Mario Balotelli.
“Balotelli? He is one player that is definitely unique. He is capable of anything and everything. A great player who has qualities of various kinds - goals, strength, physique, speed, shooting. And another who is not Italian, no? Or yes?
“I have to have faith in my colleagues. Prandelli continues to call him up, obviously he must think that he is a good boy, a good person, and obviously has no doubt that he needs him as a player.
“I know him well, if he calls him it is because he believes in him.”
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