Del Bosque confirms Iker Casillas to start against Macedonia
Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has said he will keep faith with captain Iker Casillas in goal for his side`s opening Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Macedonia on Monday.
Madrid: Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has said he will keep faith with captain Iker Casillas in goal for his side`s opening Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Macedonia on Monday.
Casillas was one of the principal culprits in Spain`s disastrous World Cup defence in Brazil, conceding seven times against the Netherlands and Chile as La Roja were eliminated after just two games.
However, despite handing a first senior international start to Manchester United`s David de Gea in the 1-0 friendly defeat to France on Thursday, Del Bosque said both Casillas and inexperienced Valencia striker Paco Alcacer would start at the Ciutat de Valencia.
"Casillas will start against Macedonia," said the 63-year-old.
"Paco has been comfortable within the group. We hope everyone is just as happy because that will help us and he will play too."
The World Cup marked the end of a glorious era for Spanish football as their run of winning three consecutive major tournaments came to an abrupt end.
And that disappointment was followed by the international retirements of midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso.
"We need to forget those awful games we played in the World Cup and get rid of the uncertainty we have because that doesn`t help anyone play well in any sport."
Spain are expected to have an easy path towards France in two years` time as they go in search of a third consecutive European Championship victory.
Del Bosque`s men have also been drawn alongside Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus and Luxembourg in Group C with the top two qualifying automatically and a playoff the reward for those finishing third in the group.
However, the former Real Madrid boss is wary of complacency.
"Errors can be key in this competition and we don`t want to underestimate Macedonia. They haven`t won a lot of games recently but no one has thrashed them."