Johannesburg: Spain have not prepared a specific plan to counter in-form Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder in Sunday’s World Cup final, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Saturday.
Sneijder is joint-top scorer with Spain striker David Villa and Germany’s Thomas Mueller in South Africa with five goals and his incisive distribution, ball-winning skills and long-range shooting have been a major reason for his team’s successful run.
“We have faced other good players who play in that position,” Del Bosque told a news conference at Soccer City.
“We have a very good midfield and they are very used to dealing with that kind of player,” he added. “So no we don’t have a specific plan to deal with Sneijder.”
European champions Spain have had to battle some defensive-minded teams at the finals, enjoying long periods of possession but struggling at times to create chances.
Del Bosque said he did not expect the Dutch to switch to a more defensive style on Sunday, when both teams will be bidding for a first World Cup triumph.
“I don’t believe Holland will change their approach simply because they are playing Spain,” he said.
“They have a very well-defined style, as do we. I certainly don’t think they will change the script.
“We have a lot of options and various solutions for any problem that might arise.”
The 59-year-old coach gave nothing away about his starting 11 for the final, declining to say whether he planned to select misfiring striker Fernando Torres or stick with forward Pedro, whom he fielded against Germany in the semi-final.
Torres returned from knee surgery shortly before the finals and has yet to find the net in six appearances.
“I can tell you that we have 23 excellent players (in the squad) and any of them could be on the pitch tomorrow,” he said. “There is no problem as far as I am concerned.”
First Published: Sunday, July 11, 2010, 13:21