Del Bosque: I’m not playing favourites with Casillas

The Spain coach insists that the Roja and Real Madrid skipper’s selection against Uruguay was a sporting decision, not one born out of loyalty
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has denied that he is selecting veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas due to favouritism.

The Real Madrid skipper spent the second half of the 2012-13 season on the sidelines and subsequently on the bench, which coincided with the impressive form of emergency replacement Diego Lopez.

However, he has walked back into the Spain team for the Confederations Cup, though Del Bosque insists that he is discounting club form.

“We value a lot of things about him,” he told Radio Marca. “Because of certain details we included him as a starter. It’s not a case of favouritism with Casillas. It’s always a question of the team before players.

“I want to isolate clubs. Nobody can doubt Casillas’ many matches. He deserves respect at the very least.”

Andres Iniesta put in a man-of-the-match performance during Spain’s 2-1 win over Uruguay on Sunday and Del Bosque is delighted with the Barcelona star’s form.

“He’s very comfortable when he’s playing, very loose, very easy, very smooth and he’s doing it all naturally,” he added.

Roberto Soldado played as an orthodox striker against the South Americans and Del Bosque says he will practise rotation more in this tournament than in previous years.

“They will all have opportunities. There’s going be more participation than in other tournaments.”

Finally, the veteran trainer said he is eager to face their Euro 2012 final opponents at the climax of the competition.

“I don’t have any preference but a rematch against Italy would be nice.”