Del Bosque denies Rafa rift

10 February 2009 03:20
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque insists he retains an amicable working relationship with Rafa Benitez.

The former Real Madrid boss was reported to have riled his Liverpool counterpart by including Fernando Torres in his squad to face England on Wednesday.

The talismanic striker is crucial to the Reds' cause this season and the Merseyside giants are understandably keen to protect their man from avoidable injuries.

Benitez has even rested Torres in recent weeks, keen to prevent him from burning out at a crucial stage of the season.

It was therefore suggested that the Liverpool chief was reluctant to release his most potent attacking weapon for a meaningless friendly.

However, Del Bosque insists Benitez has given no indication that he wants Torres left out in midweek and has questioned the logic of those suggesting he has suffered a falling out with the man who supplies more of his players than anyone else.

"There has been no conflict with Rafa Benitez," he said.

Relationship"I have always had good contact with him and was in Villarreal earlier this season when Liverpool played a friendly there.

"There is a perfectly correct relationship with Liverpool. I spoke to him last Friday and of course we spoke about the players and their physical condition.

"It was a perfectly cordial discussion and I would rather base my decision on what Rafa has said to me, not what has appeared in the press."

Del Bosque claims to have made no decision regarding how long each of his key men will get on Wednesday, but believes Torres could actually benefit from an extended run out.

"You cannot make a decision in advance because then the game doesn't go the way you expect," he said.

"I know my starting 11 but it will depend on the match. You can't say this or that person is going to play 40 or 45 minutes because you don't know what is going to happen.

"But it might even be good for Fernando Torres to play a lot of minutes and go back to Liverpool in better shape."

Source: SKY_Sports

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0