Spain national team coach Vicente del Bosque has called for greater protection for players in the wake of Lionel Messi’s recent injury at the hands of a challenge from Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi.
Messi was caught on the ankle by the Czech stopper and initial fears were that the diminutive Argentine had broken his ankle, but later it was confirmed to be merely a sprain that will keep him out of action for three weeks.
Speaking at the European conference of UEFA’s national team coaches, when asked his opinion on the nature of the challenge, del Bosque replied: “All injuries are transcendent, but some echo more because they are great players. But we have to protect everyone.”
Del Bosque also praised that the performance of David de Gea, who produced a string of stunning saves to ensure that Barcelona’s winning margin over Atletico Madrid was not greater.
He added: “We’ve had him in mind and he was on our short list for the  World Cup. He is a fixture in the U-21 team. It is a step in the right direction because he is an excellent goalkeeper.”
Finally, the experienced coach remarked on the recent desire of Jose Mourinho to manage both Real Madrid and Portugal, saying: “I understand perfectly why he would like to coach the Portuguese national team, but it is not easy to perform in two positions.”