Xavi ‘will not be forced to play’, says Del Bosque

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque on Monday said that Xavi Hernandez will only play against France in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier if he feels ready to do so.



The Barcelona midfielder, such an important element of the European and world champions’ side, missed last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Finland in Gijon because of a hamstring problem.



His fragile fitness has been a constant source of concern for both club and country in recent times, and while Del Bosque is confident the 33-year-old will be able to feature, he insisted that no chances will be taken.



“Nobody will be forced to play. If Xavi plays, he will do so because he and the doctors say he is ready to do so,” said the Spain coach at a press conference in Paris.



“We have one more training session and it will be up to our medical team and Barcelona’s medical team to decide whether he can play.



“He looks in good shape, but we have 21 players. They are not all of quite the same level, but it does mean we have plenty of options.”



Tuesday’s match at the Stade de France is a must-win for Spain, who trail France in Group I of European qualifying for next year’s World Cup by two points.



After drawing their last two games, another slip-up would leave the holders staring at the prospect of a two-legged play-off to qualify for Brazil.

Read more :
  • UEFA Champions League quarter-final draws announced, Barcelona to take on PSG
    Champions League favourites Barcelona will play big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in the pick of the quarter-final matches after the draw was held in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday. Last year'...
  • Deafness no problem for rising star Lee
    MELBOURNE - Korean youngster Lee Duck-hee dreams of life at the top of the tennis world. It is a dream shared by elite junior players the world over, but what makes Lee different is that he...
  • Huey, partner resume title hunt in The Netherlands
    Filipino-American Treat Huey and British Dominic Inglot will resume their campaign in the Topshelf Open being held in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Huey and Inglot will be up against Germ...
  • BECKHAM SENDS ‘LOVE’ TO CHINA STAMPEDE INJURED
    SHANGHAI: Football superstar David Beckham on Friday sent his love to people hurt in a stampede at a Shanghai event, as fans praised him despite the incident. Seven people were injured in a...
  • Ferguson fined, Nani banned after Madrid loss
    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was fined €10,000 ($13,000) by UEFA on Friday for failing to fulfill his post-match media duties after a Champions League match against Real Madrid. ...
  • Croatia defeat Serbia 2-0 in ‘historic’ game
    Croatia on Friday defeated Serbia 2-0 in a highly charged World Cup qualifier - the first between the two former foes as independent nations since the bloody 1990s war that tore apart the f...
  • Anne Keothavong targets Olympic Games
    Great Britain's number two Anne Keothavong has set herself the target of qualifying for the Olympic Games in London next year. The 28-year-old is currently ranked number 72 in the world bu...
  • Venus Williams plans comeback
    Venus Williams has revealed that she hopes to play a full schedule next year following a serious illness. The former world number one pulled out of this year's US Open with an autoimmune d...