Spain's national soccer team captain, Iker Casillas, deserves "special" treatment because of his years of contributions to the squad, the coach said, though he stopped short of guaranteeing the goalkeeper a starting spot in upcoming matches.
"I have my idea of what we're going to do, but we have to verify the physical, technical and mental state of all the players. In that sense, we'll see in the training how ready he is," Vicente Del Bosque said Friday when asked if Casillas would be keeping his place in the starting 11.
He said Casillas was a special case - just as striker David Villa was after his recovery from a broken leg suffered in late 2011 - and remained a fixture on the Spanish squad despite being relegated to second-string status at Real Madrid.
"In addition to Iker, there are some others who are more special. Out of fairness, a coach can't treat everyone equally. You can't treat someone coming up from the youth academy the same as someone who's been with the team for 15 years. There's a difference," Del Bosque said.
Spain's squad is making final preparations for a World Cup qualifying match on Sept. 6 against Finland in Helsinki.
The defending World Cup champions lead Group I of UEFA World Cup qualifying by one point over France with three round-robin matches to play.
The 32-year-old Casillas, a five-time winner of the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper Award, holds the record for most appearances with Spain's national squad. EFE