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Cech: Mertesacker injury is a 'big blow'

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Del Bosque debt to Premier League

Vicente Del Bosque believes the exposure of Spanish players to the Premier League has helped the national team become the dominant force in world football.

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• England v Spain preview

Spain meet England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday evening grateful for the experience accumulated on these shores by the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres. Del Bosque insists their time in England has helped world and European champions Spain overcome their "complex'' at international level.

"It's been absolutely vital that we've had such a crop of players play in the Premier League, and young players too,'' Del Bosque said. "I've always said it's been one of the key factors that's helped us achieve our success at international level.

"By travelling abroad and having players in different leagues like the Premier League has enabled us to shed that complex that we always used to have when playing at international level.''

Barcelona midfielder Xavi agreed that the willingness of players to move to English clubs has been of enormous benefit to Spain.

"It can only be a good thing for the national side that our players get to travel and play abroad,'' he said. "In the case of the Premier League you have the likes of David Silva, Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres who have played here. They've benefited from the high tempo and physicality of the English game.

"That's brought positives to the Spanish national side. Over the last decade we've seen more and more Spaniards play abroad. That's never happened before and is positive for the national team.''

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