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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Del Bosque praises Spain desire

Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said his side's commitment and quality had made the game look easier than it had been after the 5-1 victory over Panama in Wednesday's friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

The result was never in doubt after world and European champions Spain took the lead through Pedro Rodriguez after 16 minutes, with David Villa and Pedro again making the score 3-0 by half-time. Substitutes Sergio Ramos and Markel Susaeta got on the scoresheet in the second period, before Gabriel converted a late consolation penalty to give the sparse home attendance something to cheer.

It was to Spain's credit that they had made Panama look a poorer side than they actually are, Del Bosque claimed.

"We took the game seriously, showed commitment and did not concede chances while dominating possession," Del Bosque said. "We controlled the play, and from there had the freedom to show our talent. We made the game easy for ourselves - Panama are doing well in their (World Cup 2014) qualifiers. They are well organised. They are better than they looked."

The result leaves Spain, who won Euro 2012, unbeaten in competitive and friendly games throughout the calendar year, with 13 wins and three draws from 16 games in which they scored 42 goals and conceded just five.

Before boarding a plane for the 11-hour flight back to Europe, Del Bosque said that no players had picked up injuries likely to see them miss this weekend's club games.

"This game did not damage any player or any club," the former Real Madrid coach said.

Del Bosque said he would hand in his votes for this year's FIFA Ballon D'Or award on Thursday, and he would be choosing three of his own side.

"Tomorrow is when we give the votes to FIFA and if they want they will make them public," he said. "Of course the three votes will be for Spanish players."

Chelsea attacker Juan Mata, who played the first 45 minutes of the game, suggested the hot and humid conditions inside the stadium had not made it easy, and said he was delighted to be back contributing after having been left out of the squad for Spain's most recent competitive games.

"It was not easy. The game could have been a trap for us," he said. "The weather conditions were not the best for us, but we performed well. There was a spectacular show and we are returning to Spain happy. I enjoyed being back with my team-mates."

Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez, who played the 90 minutes in defence, said Spain's extra quality had enabled them to manage the conditions better.

"In general we played a good game. It was not easy with the heat and humidity," Martinez said. "We had the ball so they had to run, and we could run as little as possible. I felt comfortable at centre-half. I play where the boss needs me."

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