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Del Bosque unconvinced by Spain strikers

By Football News



Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque says he has not been overly impressed by any of his centre-forward options.

Del Bosque said he will continue to use either a false nine or an out-and-out goalscorer up front for the World Cup and European champions, but conceded there was no clear-cut preferred starter ahead of their Confederations Cup campaign in Brazil, starting on June 16.

Each of Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Fernando Torres and Roberto Soldado have been given opportunities to perform as the number one option up front for Del Bosque, but the jury is still out, according to the 62-year-old.

"We'll be playing with a striker, that's quite clear - even if it's a false number nine or an out-and-out striker. As a rule, every team should play with a number nine but we haven't found one we all like," he told Diario de la Roja.

"Maybe that's our fault. A few have been given run-outs, (Alvaro) Negredo, Torres, Soldado, even Villa hasn't really bowled us over either.

"A striker can spend practically the whole game without having to touch the ball, then he scores a goal and everyone says: 'Well, anyone could have scored that', but he has spent the whole match without a sniff of the ball.

"We need players up front who participate, ones who are visible and actively taking part during the game."

Spain have friendlies with Haiti and the Republic of Ireland prior to their Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay in 10 days' time, and Del Bosque said he was hoping to see Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez shine for Spain.

Martinez has been short of opportunities on the international stage, but the 24-year-old needs to show more hunger for the contest, according to Del Bosque.

"I've said it many times and I won't mince my words - I think he is capable of giving a lot more, he needs to participate more during Bayern's games and exert more control in his own game," he said.

"He performed well in the Champions League final and that's something.

"He's also first choice in the team. Whenever we haven't called him, it's been because we haven't liked how he has been playing but there's never been a problem about that because he's a good lad."

Spain take on Haiti in a friendly in Miami on Saturday, before a run-out against Ireland in New York on Tuesday.