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The 61-year-old admitted the presence of the trio proved imperative to his plans, and also played down the controversy surrounding his 'false nine' system

Vicente del Bosque has admitted that without the presence of goalkeeper Iker Casillas and midfielders Xavi and Xabi Alonso in the side, Spain would not have secured a hat-trick of consecutive major trophies.

La Roja became the first side in the history of the European Championship to secure back-to-back titles following a 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on Sunday.

With all three players in their 30s, there are fears about Spain's ability to maintain the same level of form in the future, but Del Bosque acknowledged that he has complete faith in the players that are coming through from the country's youth ranks.

"Those players are irreplaceable," the 61-year-old admitted. "Without them, there would be no treble. But I am sure that there are players who can take their places due to our excellent youth work.

"You can see the wealth of talent in the Olympics team. And in the current first team, players like Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla need to wait to take up a bigger role."

Del Bosque, who also led Spain to glory at the 2010 World Cup, confessed that he was not always certain that the team could win the title in Poland and Ukraine and highlighted the semi-final contest against Portugal, which was settled by a penalty shoot-out, as an example.

"Of course I had doubts," Del Bosque told Kicker. "It is the small details that decide things.

"Bruno Alves' penalty hit the crossbar, and Fabregas' penalty went in off the post. So we were lucky. But I never had any major doubts about my team's quality."

Prior to the tournament, it was feared that the tense relationship between Real Madrid and Barcelona players would have an impact on the atmosphere in Spain's dressing room, but Del Bosque insisted that is not the case.

"This team have shown that they enjoy going further, and above all, that they are not satisfied," he explained. "The behaviour of these players, especially amongst themselves, was exceptionally good.

"We were together for 40 days and there were no incidents. Everyone, including the substitutes, was moving in the same direction."

Del Bosque silenced the critics of his strikerless system with the team's impressive display in the final, and he revealed that he did not pay much attention to such comments.

"In Germany, there was an argument about whether Miroslav Klose or Mario Gomez should play," he said. "In Italy, Mario Balotelli's place was questioned, but then he became the hero.

"Those arguments should be underestimated."

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