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The moustachioed coach talked about a wide range of topics regarding La Furia Roja’s latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque was once again forced to defend and explain his decision to call up Guiza and omit Raul from the national team for the upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Turkey.

In a lengthy interview with Veo 7 programme ‘Veo Futbol’, the Salmantino coach also spoke about all the injury and fitness issues currently plaguing the Seleccion, especially to versatile midfielder Andres Iniesta, following the latest round of matches in the Primera Division.

“It was a bad day for us yesterday, but it is not necessary to dramatise the situation,” assured Del Bosque. “If he [Iniesta] does not play, there will be other games for him in the future.

“I hope that we will not notice his absence too much, but it’s true that in order to overcome a tough and dangerous Turkish side, we would need him.”

Del Bosque then went on to analyse Turkey, a footballing nation he is quite familiar with following a one-season spell as Besiktas manager in the 2004-05 campaign.

“Their football is in progression and constantly climbing, but they have tremendous players who will fight to defend the shirt. They have a tough, competitive character and they are people who like to defy the odds,” he cautioned.

“They are 11th in the FIFA world ranking and they were semi-finalists in the World Cup in Japan/Korea and they were they were in the top four again at Euro ‘08.

“A good outcome for us would be to earn four points against them as that would give us another decisive step towards the World Cup.”

The ex-Real Madrid trainer had to justify his decision to call-up Fenerbahce’s Dani Guiza instead of one of his former players, Raul.

“Some of the reaction I got after announcing the squad really took me by surprise because of all the commotion,” he admitted.

“Some said I was brave but others said I was a coward. But I believe I am neither one nor the other. My obligation is to take decisions that are for the good of our squad.

“Guiza was selected for his football values because he is someone who complements better players like Fernando Torres or Fernando Llorente.”

Finally, Del Bosque spoke about Spain’s World Cup chances and the football in general in the country.

“Spanish football is going through a good phase at the moment, both at international and club level. It may be the fashionable thing to say, but to call us the favourites for the World Cup gives me the chills,” he said.

“I see teams like Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Germany or even England as our main rivals. They are always favourites for any tournament.”

The Spanish national team will congregate at Madrid’s Las Rozas training ground on Tuesday afternoon and Del Bosque is expected to announce the player who will replace Iniesta.

KS Leong,