Del Bosque hails Prem influence

Image: Vicente Del Bosque: Believes Spain have benefited from the Premier League

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has hailed the Premier League's influence on the world champions.

Spain coach says team is stronger because of Premier League

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has hailed the Premier League's influence on the world champions. England play Spain at Wembley on Saturday in a friendly ahead of next year's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. Del Bosque, who masterminded the World Cup 2010 triumph, believes Spanish players plying their trade in England has made the national team stronger. "It's been absolutely vital that we've had such a crop of players play in the Premier League, and young players too," he 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." Del Bosque believes defending Spain's position as champions at Euro 2012 will be more challenging than winning it in the first place. "We're in a much more difficult position now than in 2008," he added. "Back then we were contenders, going there full of high hopes of putting in a good performance.

Responsibility

"We put in an excellent performance thanks to the players and management. "However, now we go there as holders and that means we have even greater responsibility. "There is also a greater selection of top sides around than maybe a few years ago. "Teams like Holland, Germany, Italy, England and France will be there - it's a tall order against such quality opposition." Barcelona midfielder Xavi echoes his manager's view that Spaniards playing in the Premier League has made them stronger. "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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