Madrid, April 7: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said Monday that he has a good idea who will replace injured goalkeeper Victor Valdes for the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Valdes will be out for around seven months after breaking his cruciate knee ligament in Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo a fortnight ago, reports Xinhua.
It is a huge blow for World Cup holders given that Valdes had looked likely to compete with Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas to be first choice for Spain in Brazil.
The absence of the Barca keeper has now opened the door for someone else to come into the squad and there are three main candidates: Diego Lopez, who was part of the Spain squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup and who is first choice ahead of Casillas for Real Madrid in the BBVA Primera Liga, Espanyol’s Kiko Casilla, who has been in fine form this season, and Manchester United’s David D Gea, a regular for Spain’s U-21 squad.
“We are very sorry for Victor,” said Del Bosque. “He has done very well for the squad, both on and off the pitch.”
The Spain coach then admitted he had decided who would be the third goalkeeper in the squad for the World Cup finals.
“I have the third goalkeeper in mind, but I am not going to say who it is yet, because there could still be further injuries and then we would have to call up someone else. I think it is logical to stick to the time-scale we have ahead of us. There are still seven weeks to go and anything could happen,” he said.
One thing that now appears certain is that Casillas will be first choice in Brazil.
“Iker is always elegant, he is a nice lad and a good companion. That is why he is a leader on the pitch and has over 150 appearances for his country,” said Del Bosque.