(Corrects dates of Spain's upcoming matches in the 7th graf)


Spanish national team player Cesc Fabregas said his manager's decision to start Iker Casillas in the squad's opening Confederations Cup match against Uruguay ahead of Victor Valdes did not ruffle any feathers because the coach has never played favorites.

"In soccer, there's little that's unfair. An honest coach is always going to go with what he thinks is best, and in that regard, the manager has never played favorites," the attacking midfielder said.

Vicente del Bosque's "decisions have always been for the team's benefit and, since he's been here, things have gone really well," the FC Barcelona player said in an interview with Spanish telecoms company Movistar.

Casillas has been the Spanish national team's stalwart in goal in recent years, minding the net during the squad's title runs at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and at Euro 2012, but he hardly played for Real Madrid in 2013 due to a hand injury.

He played solidly in goal in Spain's 2-1 victory Sunday over Uruguay in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife, but mostly watched at a distance as La Roja monopolized possession throughout the match.

Valdes has been Spain's No. 2 goalkeeper for years and is Fabregas' teammate at Barça.

Sunday's win virtually assured Spain a spot in the semifinals of that competition - a prelude to next year's World Cup, which Brazil will also host - although it still has two Group B round-robin games remaining against lowly Tahiti on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro and Nigeria on Sunday in Fortaleza.

Referring to the much-anticipated arrival of Brazilian striker Neymar to Barça, Fabregas said he would need "some time to adapt" to the different rhythm of play in the Spanish league compared to Brazilian soccer.

He said the team would help him have "good nights at Camp Nou" and that there would be no ego problems on the team, which already boasts four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and other big-name stars.

Responding to rumors about a possible move to Manchester United or Arsenal, the 26-year-old Fabregas, who played for the London club for many years, said the idea of returning to England's Premier League had not crossed his mind.

"I want to win at Barcelona, which is my home and where I've always dreamed of playing." EFE