Few observers were expecting to see Juanfran’s name in Spain’s 23-man Euro 2012 squad, but the man charged with mounting a defence of the European crown Spain won four years ago believes he is worthy of a spot in his star-studded party.
“He has a great balance to his game both offensively and defensively,” says Vincente Del Bosque. “His coach at Atletico has helped to move him onto a different level in the last few months and he has had a good season. No one can say he is not here on merit.”
Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Iraola may beg to differ with Del Bosque’s assessment as most suspect his name would have made the Spanish list ahead of Juanfran had he been fit heading into Euro 2012, but this talented former Real Madrid star is another quality option for the tournament favourites to call upon in a midfield selection over-loaded with sumptuous talent.