Del Bosque: Barcelona losing to Milan could hurt Spain

The national team boss remains hopeful that the Blaugrana can progress, and fears a defeat could hurt the Euro 2012 winners' morale
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque hopes that Barcelona can overturn their first-leg deficit in the Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan in order to keep morale high in the national team ahead of their clash with France later this month.

The Blaugrana were beaten 2-0 at San Siro back in February, but the former Real Madrid coach remains hopeful that they book their ticket for the quarter-finals in Tuesday's return at Camp Nou.

"It will be a very important game for Barcelona and Spain. The result of Barcelona's match could influence the morale of the national team. It would be a bit problematic if Barca lose the tie, because the players will be a bit crestfallen," he told Efe.

"On the other hand, if they turn things around, they will be high on confidence and get a boost morale. It will be a tough task, but I think Barca can make it happen.

"It is important that they pull if off and qualify, just like Real Madrid did [against Manchester United]. They make up a big part of the national team and we need players in good spirit."

Spain host Finland on March 22, before travelling to France four days later.