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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Del Bosque: Casillas earned his place

Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque insists he is not playing favourites with goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

• Rigg: Casillas enjoys record-breaking return

Casillas played few matches last season after falling out with former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, but has bounced back to play regularly for the national team at the Confederations Cup.

Del Bosque, though, says his selection has nothing to do with his club situation.

"There is no favouritism towards Casillas," Del Bosque told Radio Marca.

"We took many things into account when deciding and certain details made us feel inclined to start him.

"People keep saying that it as if I owe Iker something, but sporting questions always come before personal ones.

"I want to isolate myself from the clubs. A lot has been made of this particular case, but no-one can doubt that Casillas has played many games for Spain.

"He deserves to be respected. A young lad that came through the ranks at Real Madrid deserves to be loved, even with the defects he has."

The coach also said memebers of Spain's triumphant Under-21 side would not be drafted into the senior team simply because of their European Under-21 Championship success.

"We discussed bringing them to the Confederations Cup but we have some very good players ahead of them, as was proved against Uruguay," he said.

"We don't have to renew our squad for the sake of it. They (the Under-21 players) have to put a lot of pressure on us because we have a stable squad. We have some brilliant players on our substitutes' bench."

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