David De Gea reassured over Spain role
Vicente Del Bosque says David De Gea's time will come in the Spanish national team, but has suggested the Manchester United goalkeeper will have to wait for the moment.
The Spain coach has included five of Spain’s recently crowned European Under-21 Champions in his panel for this week’s friendly in Ecuador, however there was no place for Premier League champion De Gea on the list.
Speaking at his pre-game press conference the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 winning manager said he was well aware of De Gea’s potential but had decided to retain Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes and Iker Casillas as the trio get on so well together as a group, and are also superb 'keepers individually.
“I have been watching the Under-21s and De Gea is a goalkeeper who will mark an era,” Del Bosque said. “At the present I do not find a reason to change the goalkeepers. If Casillas, Valdes and Reina are here it is not because they are funny guys, but because they are good 'keepers. At the Confederations Cup, the attention was focused on the goals because of Casillas’ situation and all worked well. They get on very well together, are good team-mates and I wanted to maintain the situation.”
The five youngsters who have travelled - Isco, Thiago Alcantara, Inigo Martinez, Koke and Cristian Tello - could add new options for him to consider, Del Bosque said.
“If they are here it is because they have the ability to play for the senior side,” he said. “There are good reinforcements coming from behind, who we are going to add in bit by bit. But for sure the block from Euro 2012 still have some distance left to go. We have a stable team with few players over 30. This team has a future.”
The 3-0 loss to Brazil in June’s Confederations Cup final would not lead to any panic or wholesale changes in Spain’s approach, said the experienced coach.
“At the Confederations Cup everything went well,” Del Bosque said. “We were very excited to reach the final against Brazil, but we were drained physically and they beat us there – right from when the hymn began to play.”
La Roja captain Casillas said he was expecting a tough test from Ecuador, who are currently well set to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
"Ecuador is a team with technical ability but also great physical power,” the Real Madrid 'keeper said. “They close up space very well and that becomes uncomfortable. We must run more than them and be accurate.”
Casillas brushed away a suggestion that Spain’s players were annoyed at yet another long trip to South America at an awkward time just before the club season kicked off.
"Neither the journeys nor the kilometres are important,” he said. “To be anywhere with ‘la seleccion’ is a source of pride. We are delighted. The affection with which we are received, especially in South America, is huge. We appreciate it.”
One player delighted to have made the trip is Fernando Llorente, who returns to the Spain squad having slipped out of the picture last season while he was kicking his heels on the Athletic Bilbao bench.
“It is always a very big excitement to return to the national team,” said the new Juventus centre-forward. "I am arriving at a very nice moment for me. Llorente is back with a lot of motivation, as if it was the first day. It will be very difficult [to make World Cup squad], but I am going to try and give a lot this year.”