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The 62-year-old would rather the Roja midfielder scooped the award instead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and also praised the strength in depth that his country boasts.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque wants Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta to win the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

The Spaniard played a major role as la Roja swept all before them to win Euro 2012, and has also earned plaudits for his continued good performances with the Blaugrana.

Although many have suggested that the three-man race for the individual award will be dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 62-year trainer believes Iniesta has a good chance of coming out on top.

"I hope that Iniesta wins the Ballon d’Or, and I think that he will have a lot of votes," he told AS.

Del Bosque also defended his recent squad selections, stating that he is spoiled for choice and often finds it difficult to accommodate all of the talented players that Spain is currently producing.

"We try to be fair, but you can never please everybody," he continued. "The complicated thing with Spain is not calling up new players, but finding space for them. For some to come in, others have to go out. Those that are in have shown that they are capable. It's not easy.

"But I know exactly what we have coming, the Michus, Aspases and Thiagos, all of those footballers that have shown on the pitch that I should be taking notice of them. They all have merits, whether they have followed the logical path with the Under-21s, like Thiago, Iker Muniain, Ander Herrera and the others, or those that have blossomed later, like Michu or Benat."

The former Real Madrid coach is confident that the competition for places is playing a major part in keeping the current squad hungry for success.

"We have a stable block of players. I believe that this group still has legs," he said. "The most important thing is that these players maintain the desire to win and do not settle for what they have already done.

"But they are showing that they are capable. They showed it this summer, when they won the Euros after winning the World Cup. And they have also shown it in keeping Spain at the top of the FIFA rankings over the past five years. If winning the World Cup, or the Euros, proves a good month of competition, then being No.1 for five years proves more."

Reflecting on 2012, Del Bosque was grateful for the attitude of his players, not least because he believes they can inspire others to overcome problems in their own lives.

"I am happy that the Spanish players want to make the national team, that they want to help, improve and make their mark with Spain," he concluded. "I am also very satisfied with the reception that we have had wherever we have gone, especially in the countries of the Americas that we have visited [for friendlies].

"The image of Spain that the national team projects is a good one. Football is inspirational, it is proof that young people can do well and overcome adversity. There is no need to be pessimistic, the opposite, in fact."

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