'El Nino' was dropped from the national squad and the reigning world and European champions fared well in his absence; but his striking deputy understands his frustrationsSevilla striker Alvaro Negredo has dismissed suggestions that Chelsea forward Fernando Torres' position in Spain's national team is in danger as he feels the former Liverpool ace is still one of the leaders of the team.
The £50 million striker was omitted from the plans of the world champions on Tuesday night as head coach Vicente Del Bosque gave David Villa and Negredo the nod up front in the Group I qualifer against Liechtenstein, with Pedro and Fernando Llorente providing the back-up options from the bench.
Negredo seized the chance, scoring twice as the Spanish romped home in a 6-0 win. The former Real Madrid forward revealed that Torres was present in the Spain dressing room following the encounter but added that the Chelsea man's mood was sombre. He nonetheless believes that Torres still has a key part to play for the national side.
"He visited us in the dressing room after the final whistle and congratulated me on my goals," Negredo said to AS.
"I don't want to talk about whether he was angry or not. It was a great gesture to come down and congratulate us.
"I really understand his disappointment. It's never a good thing when you travel with the national team without playing a single minute. He's a great team-mate though and is still one of the leaders of the team."
Spain booked their ticket for Euro 2012 on Tuesday and joined Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Italy and Netherlands on the list of confirmed teams for next year's tournament.