Vicente Del Bosque quiet on Spain’s goalkeeper selection dilemma

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TOULOUSE — Spain coach Vicente del Bosque refused to confirm which of David De Gea or Iker Casillas will be starting goalkeeper when the defending champions meet Czech Republic in their opening match on Monday.

Speaking on Sunday in Toulouse at his prematch press conference, Del Bosque said he will inform the goalkeepers of his decision in front of the rest of the squad.

“I’m going to tell them together,” he said. “I will tell the goalkeepers at the same time as the rest of the players. We have to think about situations for the team, we’re not thinking just about the keeper [but] thinking about the whole team. The final decision will be made tomorrow.”

Del Bosque admitted he was not sure if Manchester United’s De Gea had been affected by accusations made in a Spanish court that he was involved in a case of serious sexual offences.

He said: “We’ll see if the player is able to play, then he’ll play. If he’s not we’ll take another decision without any problem.”

Defender Sergio Ramos suggested the De Gea situation would not have an unsettling effect on the Spain squad.

“I don’t think the controversy changed anything, we have a good atmosphere in the squad, the group has to support any player who goes through a situation,” the Real Madrid defender said. “Could it help? Maybe, but probably not, we’ve always had a good mentality in the squad.”

Vicente Del Bosque has refused to name his first-choice goalkeeper.

Ramos continued: “It was not very nice news to receive but when you’re with a teammate he has the whole support of the group. We’re not going to say anything about it, he has said what he wants to say himself. We’re very motivated [and] want the championship to begin to defend our title.”

Casillas struggled when playing for Porto last season after a summer move from Real Madrid but remains national team captain. When Spain were deposed as world champions in Brazil two years ago, Casillas suffered a poor World Cup, which Del Bosque’s team want to put behind them.

“Football is like that, you can’t always win, we’ve had great moments and tough moments too,” Ramos said. “People get used to winning, maybe us as well, we didn’t really value what happened. They should have confidence in us, but we will try to give the maximum level.”

Andres Iniesta, player of the tournament at Euro 2012, said Spain were motivated to lift a third European title in succession.

“It would make me happy to win another title for the team, to win three Euros would be something unique,” he said. “On an individual level that would be good, but above all is the collective feeling.”

John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.


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