Posted on Apr 16
Fierce rivalry between Spain's Champions League contenders Real Madrid and Barcelona poses no threat to harmony in the national team dressing room, coach Vicente Del Bosque said Monday.
League-leaders Real and second-place Barcelona, each home to several players in the Spain squad, face off Saturday in the biggest grudge tie in the league and are both vying for this season's European club crown.
"We want it to be a European championship final between Real Madrid and Barcelona," Del Bosque said Monday, playing down concerns that the teams' ferocious on-pitch rivalry could poison players' cohesion in the Spain squad.
"It is not going to prejudice the national squad, knowing that some will win and others will lose. The players are ready for that," he added. "What happens (between the clubs) will never have repercussions on the national squad."
He was speaking at the Polish embassy in Madrid at a reception promoting this summer's Euro 2012 international tournament.
Del Bosque sounded cautiously hopeful for the Euro prospects of key goalscorer David Villa, the Barcelona striker recovering from a broken leg he suffered in December.
"It is an exceptional case. He will come as long as he is in perfect condition and can compete," the coach said.
He cited the cases of three players who recovered from injury in time for the 2010 World Cup -- Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal for Spain in the final.
"We waited confidently for them until the last minute and we were right to do so."
Real and Barca could face off in an all-Spanish Champions League final if they win their semi-final legs this week and next.
Madrid play their first leg away to Bayern Munich on Tuesday and Barcelona play theirs against Chelsea in London the following day.