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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Del Bosque pondering Michu call-up

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has said the form of Swansea attacker Michu has put him into consideration for a place in the world and European champions' squad.

Michu has impressed with 12 goals in 17 Premier League games since his €2 million summer move from Rayo Vallecano, leading some pundits in Spain and England to suggest the Asturian deserves a first full international call-up.

The Roja boss said the 26-year-old was under consideration, while pointing to the depth of attacking talent he had available.

"We now have many forwards," Del Bosque said in an interview with the TV channel of sponsors Movistar. "People are putting themselves forward - Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado, Aritz Aduriz, Iago Aspas, Michu... We need to try and be fair, it is not just about goals.

"I rate Michu a lot, he is playing for a team which is not among the top sides, he is not a pure forward, and he is scoring a lot of goals, as he did already at Rayo."

The Spain coach therefore has some thinking to do before selecting his squads for the upcoming friendly against Uruguay in Qatar in February, and then vital World Cup 2014 qualifiers the following month at home to Finland and away in France.

A lack of playing time for more experienced forwards David Villa and Fernando Llorente at present was a consideration, Del Bosque admitted.

"They are two different situations," he said. "Llorente's case is due to things outside of football, he has said he wants to leave the club. That was not very well understood by the club, which is normal in Athletic's case. We hope it is resolved.

"Villa's case is less problematic. The (Barcelona) coach has many players. I am sure David will keep playing because the coach picks his best players."

The former Real Madrid boss said he hoped Andres Iniesta surprised Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when the 2012 Ballon d'Or is announced next month.

"I would like it to be Iniesta, who represents Spanish football," he said. "Our football deserves to be recognised in this way."

Del Bosque, himself nominated for FIFA's Coach of the Year along with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, said he would not mind winning the award.

"All recognition is welcome, you must take it with optimism and pride," he said. "Guardiola won it not so long ago. I think it is important to help our country's image outside of Spain."

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