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Spain Coach Vicente Del Bosque Eyes Euro 2016 Semi-Finals

Vicente del Bosque

coach said Tuesday that if his side can reach the semi-finals of the forthcoming European Championships which start in next month, he will be satisfied.

Speaking on radio station, Cadena Cope the night after he began preparations for the tournament with a reduced group of 18 players, Del Bosque was asked if Spain could retain the title they won in 2008 and in 2012.

“I will be content if we get to the semi-finals,” admitted the coach, whose side failed to make it out of the group stage in the 2014 World Cup.

“Some people may consider (reaching the semis) to be a failure, but I don’t want us to be taken over by nerves and mistakes,” he said.

He defended the list of 23 players which he named last week, although he admitted this  “was perhaps the list which was the toughest to pick.”

“We have tried to take strongest squad, so we have not given prizes to anyone, and we have simply picked the best players,” he explained.

Controversial Brazilian born striker Diego Costa has not made the squad. Del Bosque cited physical problems as the reason for leaving him out, saying he was content with the selection of 35-year-old Aritz Aduriz and striker Alvaro Morata.

“I have a lot of confidence in Morata, and Aduriz’s numbers this season (36 goals in all competitions) are unquestionable,” he commented.

Finally, Del Bosque didn’t want to be drawn into the debate over whether David de Gea or Iker Casillas would be first choice goalkeeper for Spain.

“It’s not the time to think about that, and we will have to take a look at them both and then make the best decision,” he said.

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