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With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? Spain Boss Rests Barça Before Clásico

Del Bosque, coach of Spanish national team. Is he mad at Real Madrid?
Del Bosque, coach of Spanish national team. Is he mad at Real Madrid?

While Germany's manager Joachim Löw let Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil rest, Vicente del Bosque has kept all Real Madrid field players -Iker Casillas was subbed at halftime- in the spanish national team for the whole game against Italy.

Not one Barcelona player was on the pitch for longer than 45 minutes. Torres, who started, left the game after a head concussion on the 15th minute, but Del Bosque decided to play Llorente instead of Barcelona's star David Villa.

It is hard for us madridistas to think this is coincidence.

Real Madrid players are all along the national teams. We have four portuguese players playing in the national team, Di Maria and Higuaín both play for Argentina, while Özil and Khedira are key pieces in Joachim Löw's scheme, as Benzema is for france.

Only Fabio Coentrao has played more than 45 minutes today with Portugal. Pepe, Ronaldo, and Carvalho are within that margin. Benzema has not played the whole game.

However, only Alonso, Ramos and Casillas play valuable minutes with the national team. Albiol did not play a minute in Southafrica and Arbeloa is a backup for Capdevila and Ramos.

Today, Vicente del Bosque decided that all Real Madrid players had to play 90 minutes with the exception of Iker Casillas. This would not be suspect if key Barcelona and Spain players like Iniesta, Villa, Busquets or Piqué -note that I am not including Puyol or Xavi, who are injured- had played a significant amount of minutes too, but not one of them was been on the pitch for more than 45 minutes, since Busquets entered the game almost at halftime when Piqué got hurt.

Why did Del Bosque decide to stress out his old club's players? Because he is mad with the team. He is resentful at Florentino Pérez for not renewing his contract before Queiroz's arrival.

This week, he said:

"I support both Barcelona and Real Madrid till death."

When you start saying those kinds of things, I think it's time for you to quit talking for a while, especially when you have been making a living from the club more than 25 years.

I do not think Del Bosque is a great coach, Spain got the World Cup because of their players. Del Bosque insisted in playing a hurt Fernando Torres while the team was doing great with Navas, Pedro, or even Fernando Llorente. He found the best roster in the history of soccer when he was the head coach in Real Madrid and we could not even win a doblete. I know we won the Champions League, but what did we do in La Liga those years? We would have been out of the Champions League on 2000/01 if the team didn't win their 8th cup last year, because we finished 5ths, and in 2001/02 the team finished 3rd. I really think that we the team we had in those years we could at least have won both Champions and Liga for one year.

Most of us madridistas care more about Sunday's game than today's friendly, and so do culés. I would not be surprised if our manager Jose Mourinho talked about this matter in next days. When he keeps Alonso for the whole game and refuses to put Villa in when Torres is hurt, you know something is going kind of wrong.

So maybe madridistas and Spaniards like me have our enemy inside our own territory. Albiol or Arbeloa will surely play Sunday, while Alonso is our man in the midfield. This game has done no good to our player's stamina.

And everybody knows Bernabeu's game will require a good shape from everyone of our men.

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