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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Del Bosque praises Prem influence

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque believes the Premier League has been a driving factor behind the success of the national team in recent years.

Del Bosque, 62, claims that the growing trend of Spanish players moving to England has proven beneficial for La Roja.

Spain currently sit atop the world rankings thanks to victory in the last two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup triumph.

Seven players in the squad for Spain's win over Italy in the Euro 2012 final have experienced English football or are still playing in the Premier League and Del Bosque believes the strength of the league should not be underestimated.

"The departure of Spanish players to other leagues, and especially to the English league, has grown Spanish football and has been good for the national team," he told reporters. "Already we have seen this with the evolution of Cesc Fabregas and this trend is now increasing.

"We have followed everyone in England via television and scouting reports that have come in on all the players. But, I'm very glad to have seen them live and how they all did."

Swansea striker Michu has made a compelling case for inclusion in del Bosque's team after scoring 13 league goals already this season.

But the Spain manager believes the strong competition for attacking positions will make it hard for the 26-year-old to break into the national side.

"He plays in a position where we also have [Andres] Iniesta, [Juan] Mata and [David] Silva, among others," Del Bosque said. "Those players have been champions of Europe and the world," he added.

"But that does not mean we're ignoring the best performances. It is great that our players are out there."

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