Madrid, Feb 12 IANS | 9 months ago

Spain football coach Vicente del Bosque has dropped a major hint that he will ring in changes at the end of the 2014 World Cup and open the door for a new generation of players in the team.


Several of the players who are likely to travel to Brazil this summer to help Spain defend their world title are approaching the end of their careers with Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Xabi Alonso, David Villa and others unlikely to be in contention for much longer, reports Xinhua.

Speaking after receiving the Andres Iniesta Award for Sporting Excellence here, named in honour of the man who scored the winning goal in South Africa in 2010, Del Bosque addressed the problem and admitted he was looking to the future, although he added that there would not be a revolution in the squad, more an evolution.

"We have the stable basis of a squad," said Del Bosque, who nevertheless admitted that in the Spain Under-21 and Under 20 squads there were "many players who could come and play for us."

Recent times have seen the press promote the candidacy of Real Madrid youngster Jese Rodriguez who has struck rich form in recent weeks, while others such as Athletic Club Bilbao midfielders, Ander Herrera and Ander Iturraspe must also be close to a call up.

"We have been collecting information to choose those players who could best represent us," said Del Bosque, adding "it is a fact of life," that footballers get old and the time comes for them to make way for younger legs.

"If it is not in the World Cup, then it will be in the 2016 European Championships in France, but nobody should doubt that we will not delay their arrival," he said.

Spanish football may be suffering as a result of the economic crisis but the plus side of that has been that in comparison with, for example the Barclays Premier League, Spanish clubs have in the majority stopped making big money signings of foreign players and have turned their attention to producing players from their youth team systems.

That is evident in the arrival of Atletico Madrid midfielder, Koke, while Barca have always had a productive youth team with players such as Marc Bartra close to selection, along with others such as Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, another to benefit from his club's reliance on the youth team.

"The success of the national team is derived from the good work carried out in the junior teams of all Spanish clubs," said the national coach.

(Posted on 12-02-2014)

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