Del Bosque Playing Peace Keeper Ahead of Spain vs Chile Friendly

MADRID SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Vicente del Bosque (R) of Spain folows the game as Fernando Torres runs past him during the International friendly match between Spain and Colombia at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 9 2011 in Madrid Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Today will be interesting as Spain is due to take on Chile in an international friendly (11:30am pst/2:30pm est on Fox Soccer Channel here in the States). Of the 24 men on the Spanish roster 12 of them are from either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona - even del Bosque himself was a player and then manager of Real Madrid.

A lot of his peace keeping is stemming from something we're frankly going to hear about all season, right up until the first regular season Clasico against FC Barcelona. The first leg wasn't so bad, but you can't say things went smoothly in the waning moments of the second leg at the Nou Camp.

Del Bosque is worried that this rift that has formed throughout the La Roja's camp could hinder the team as they take on Chile in a friendly; then four days later take on Liechtenstein in a Euro 2012 qualifying match.

He has even expressed his concerns that it's taken it's toll on the squad.

"The day will come where we will ask ourselves why we were so stupid and childish," he said ahead of the two matches. SOURCE Christopher Lehousse (AFP)

Even the players that are part of the squad outside of either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona know there is something in the air, especially when other players are warning new guys coming into the squad.

"The situation in the national team is at breaking point," Malaga midfielder Santi Cazorla warned recently while Liverpool's Spanish keeper Pepe Reina said "the atmosphere in the squad has got a bit weird".

Of course there is also the supposed drama involving Iker Casillas phoning Xavi and making peace in the wake of what happened, and the fact that they would have to be on the pitch together in the upcoming matches, playing for country instead of club.

Really this has turned into a giant dramafest that could unravel the formerly top ranked international squad in the world. Spain are now #2 behind the Netherlands - which really remains a mystery to me. But I, like a lot of others, don't really bother with power rankings like this - but it does give us something to talk about.

As supporters we will be watching this closely, and I know there are those out there that will be critical of Del Bosque's every move (I can hear it now - is he favoring Real Madrid players? or is he favoring FC Barcelona players?) How about this: let's set aside our biases for the next two matches. This isn't about club, this is about country. We can dislike the FC Barcelona swim team on the pitch, when the first regular season classico happens.

Even I will be watching with interest and I'm a USMNT supporter. I have players I like to watch on this team, including guys that aren't on Real Madrid (Fernando Torres, being the main one - I'm not shy about my Chelsea fandom). For those of you wondering what the rankings are, well ask and ye shall receive.

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