Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has insisted the Big Two in La Liga – Barcelona and Real Madrid – have not been putting pressure on him to not play key players in this week’s friendly match against Italy because of next weekend’s Clasico.
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets was withdrawn from the squad earlier this week because of a finger injury while Andres Iniesta missed out altogether dues to various fitness concerns.
Los Blancos visit the Camp Nou on April 2 and go into the match 10 points behind their fierce rivals in the league.
“It is absolutely not true that some clubs have been pressuring us not to use their players in these friendlies,” Del Bosque said at a news conference.
“Absolutely no-one, from no club whatsoever. Not from one of the big clubs, nor someone from one of the small clubs. It infuriates me when I read stuff like that. We have never received any recommendations not to call up or field any players.
“In Busquets’ case, he was sent home because of a problem with his finger. We all saw what happened in the match against Villarreal. As for Iniesta, he is not in the squad because of a minor problem. He could not play for Barcelona against Villarreal either.”