Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has said that his side have evolved from their tiki-taka style and have built a solid foundation going into the 2014 World Cup.
Spain’s unique system of short passing has ensured that they have become the only international team to claim three major tournaments back-to-back [Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012] and they are favourites to become only the third team to defend their world title after Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962.
However, Del Bosque told Sport Bild that the game has moved on. “The final pass is as important,” he said. “Football is not only short passing. Long balls are as important. And a certain depth.”
The 63-year-old also faces a selection dilemma ahead of the tournament as, in the recent friendly win against Italy, players like Juan Mata, David Villa and Alvaro Arbeloa did not make the squad.
“If I had called up those players, I would have had to pass on others,” he added. “And then maybe players from the under-21 will be an option as well. Isco, [Alvaro] Morata, Jese. And I have already called Koke up.
“We have a good foundation right now. Not too many young players, rather a good mix. You need experienced players to have success.”
Del Bosque was also asked by the German football magazine which German player he would like to have on his team.
“That’s a utopia,” he said. “But to be honest, I really, really like Toni Kroos. He is a great player. Add [Thomas] Mueller, [Philipp] Lahm and [Bastian] Schweinsteiger to it. But as you know, we also have many great players.”