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Friday, September 7, 2012
Villa back for Saudi clash

Dermot Corrigan

Spanish national coach Vicente del Bosque says he hopes to give forward David Villa an international return in Friday evening's friendly against Saudi Arabia in Pontevedra.

Villa, who missed his country's successful Euro 2012 campaign with a broken leg, has gradually returned to first team action with his club Barcelona in recent weeks and Del Bosque said this comeback should continue against the Saudis.

"Villa is doing very well after coming back from a very serious injury," Del Bosque said. "If we can, he will play some minutes."

The ex-Real Madrid coach said that many of his squad would get playing time in the game, although he maintained it was important preparation as the World Cup holders gear up for a World Cup qualifying group which contains France, Finland, Georgia and Belarus.

"Our idea is to share out the minutes where possible," he said. "That does not mean that those who play against Arabia will be starters against Georgia on Tuesday. Any line-up we choose will be strong. To arrive at our best for the Georgia game it is good to prepare against the Saudis and put together a run of wins so that we do not have any problems qualifying for the finals in Brazil."

If selected Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, 28, will follow current team-mates Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso by winning his 100th cap for his country. Del Bosque lauded Torres' achievement and suggested many other players would also reach the historic mark.

"It is a source of pride for him to join those who reached 100 games," he said. "Coming up like bullets from behind are (Sergio) Ramos, (Andres) Iniesta, (David) Silva, (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Busquets and (Santi) Cazorla."

Saudi Arabia are ranked 104 places below the Spanish by FIFA, but Del Bosque said he had no trouble motivating his experienced players for any game.

"It is not difficult, we have a good dynamic within the group," he said. "We are aware that each game asks for more, that we need to keep looking forward. We can fail, but it should not be because of a lack of competitive spirit."




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