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The Barcelona goalkeeper continues to have to play second fiddle to Iker Casillas at international level even though his rival is no longer a guaranteed starter for Real Madrid

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has praised Victor Valdes' temperament in waiting for his chance with the national side.

The Barcelona goalkeeper did start the midweek friendly against Chile but only after being once again overlooked for the World Cup qualifier against Finland four days earlier, with Iker Casillas again selected ahead of him in spite of the fact that the skipper is no longer a guaranteed starter for Real Madrid.

"Victor has been receiving a lot of pressure to not accept the situation," Del Bosque is quoted as saying by diariodelaroja.es.

"But he is an excellent person, a great lad, with impeccable behaviour."

Del Bosque did admit, though, that he had had some doubts over starting Casillas against Finland given his situation at club level.

"I spoke with Iker and asked him what kind of a state he was in," he admitted. "I like giving explanations, but sometimes it's better to choose one' s words carefully and say little.

"There are three goalkeepers. On sporting merits alone, all three could do the job.

"But I always look for the ability of getting on with the other squad members among the three keepers."

Casillas captained his country to victory at the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.

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