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Essien takes pride in Salah's achievement for Africa

Football
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Del Bosque: Isco 'is the future' for Spain

Vicente del Bosque has placed the future of Spanish football in the hands of midfielder Isco, insisting the Real Madrid recruit "is the future" for La Roja.

Isco starred for Spain's Under-21 side as they claimed the European Championship title last month, scoring a penalty in the final win over Italy.

His bronze boot-winning performance in the tournament reaffirmed Real Madrid's interest in the 21-year-old and his five-year contract at the Bernabeu is likely to allow him to become a regular in the national team over the coming years.

Isco has made one appearance in Del Bosque's side, but the Spain boss is confident the youngster can comfortably succeed the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, alongside Real Madrid target Asier Illarramendi.

"We have a lot of hope pinned to Isco, he is the future of the national team," Del Bosque told Radio Nacional de Espana. "Illarramendi is the complete midfielder. He has the personality to play for any team in the world."

Del Bosque also responded to the criticism of Alvaro Arbeloa and Iker Casillas following the Confederations Cup final, claiming both players were crucial for Spain throughout the tournament.

"Alvaro played very well throughout the tournament," he said. "It's as if we are always looking for the weak link and we are all guilty of that. Casillas was magnificent.

"We played good football at times but the final wiped away everything we did up until then. We now have another year to try to make sure we have a good World Cup - if we qualify."

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