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The Real Madrid defender says the team is better with the Barcelona captain at the heart of the defence, while Thiago Alcantara praised coach Vicente del Bosque

Spain defender Sergio Ramos has hailed Carles Puyol as the Barcelona captain prepares to return to the starting line-up for La Roja against Scotland on Tuesday.

The Real Madrid right-back's club have had a number of well-publicised fracases with Puyol's side, but Ramos is delighted that the 33-year-old is back in the international fold after recovering from a troublesome knee injury.

"Puyol is an incredibly secure player who brings us a lot. For us it's great news to have players like him selected, players with such experience who give so much," Ramos said at Monday's pre-match press conference.

The 25-year-old also defended much-maligned Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, stating: "He is a great player who has achieved a lot, both with Chelsea and with the national team. It's always important to have players like him."

At the same press conference, Puyol's Barcelona team-mate Thiago Alcantara stated that he feels very comfortable playing under Vicente del Bosque.

"They [Del Bosque and Guardiola] are different coaches, although a player's comfort does not only depend on the coaches, but your team-mates too. I feel just as comfortable with the national team as I do with Barcelona."

Meanwhile, Valencia full-back Jordi Alba is set to make his Spain debut and revealed he is looking forward to the occasion.

"I'm very happy to make my debut. Since I arrived, everybody has treated me very well. They're very humble and I have been treated as one of their own, so I'm grateful. I hope to learn from all of them, and adapt as soon as possible."

Spain round off their Euro 2012 qualification campaign with a home tie against Scotland as they look to seal a 100% record in Group I.

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