Del Bosque: Spain will learn from Argentina rout
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes his team will learn from their thumping 4-1 defeat at the hands of Argentina at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.
The world champions were beaten for just the third time since 2006. They were two down inside the opening 14 minutes when Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain, two players who ply their trade in Spain, were on target.
Carlos Tevez made it 3-0 in the 34th minute following a costly slip by Jose Reina. Spain, who hit the woodwork three times in the match, pulled a late goal back through Fernando Llorente but Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero made it 4-1 for the home side in injury-time.
"We had an uncomfortable start to the match,'' Del Bosque said. "We couldn't take control in the midfield, they flooded the midfield and stole the ball off us and hurt us.
"But we have the dignity to lose, the team never gave up and we had courage to keep going in search of goals. These defeats hurt of course, but we should learn from them. We can't believe that we will always win.''
Spain travelled to South America on the back of their 4-0 Euro 2012 opener against minnows Liechtenstein and Del Bosque said it was a good test against a high-profile nation.
"We have to know how to play against weak teams, like Liechtenstein the other day, and big teams too. You learn from the defeats,'' he said. "We haven't hurt our image. We had the dignity to lose.
"In the second half we had several chances. We were even close to closing the scoring. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I think we had chances to change the final result.''
Cesc Fabregas, who started in place of Barca star Xavi, said of the match: "Nobody likes to lose. We knew that it was a difficult game and, although there are excuses, we don't want to make them.
"One day something like that had to happen. We need to applaud them because they had four chances and scored four goals. It's true that it wasn't our best game, but neither was it a 4-1. We hit the post three times and had more chances. I think the result was too emphatic.''
Villarreal playmaker Santi Cazorla added in AS: "We didn't deserve to lose 4-1, but they went ahead very quickly and were convincing in attack. We had chances, but we didn't have the luck in front of goal.
"Spain hit the post three times and if one of those had gone in the game would've changed. Nobody likes to lose, although some day we too had to lose. It's a tough blow, the squad is upset.''
Messi was pleased to win: "We played really well in the first minutes. They move the ball from one side to the other, so you have to be very balanced and patient to find your chance. We did that and we were successful. We want the national team to do it well. Hopefully we'll continue in this path.''