Del Bosque: Spain squad is mature, not old

With seven players in the team over 30, questions have been raised over the general age of the world champions but the coach insists it will not be a problem at the World Cup
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has insisted his World Cup team is not an old one, but a mature one.

The reigning European and world champions have seven players over 30-years-old, keeping a large contingent of squad which won the tournament in South Africa four years ago.

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However, Del Bosque stressed the age of his squad isn't a problem and says his team is still "extraordinary".

"We qualify not as a veteran team, but mature," he said.

"We have four or five players over 30. That’s not much. We’re not afraid of anything and we are in good shape. And [the older players] are extraordinary and have been extraordinary.

"We have a team that has been renewed, that was European Under-21 champion. We have 30 per cent of new players.

"I think there has been a similarity between them and those who’ve come with us to ensure we retain the title."

The coach was asked if Barcelona's poor season in La Liga and the Champions League could affect his side's chances with so many members of the squad playing for the Catalan giants, but he insisted neither that nor Cesc Fabregas' transfer to Chelsea would hinder them.

"There is no direct relationship between Barcelona’s season and football in Spain," he added.

"[Fabregas’ move] does not interfere with the team. It’s a parallel situation. I haven’t noticed anything that may harm our team."