Torres, Del Bosque slam 'play for draw' slur

Spanish striker Fernando Torres and coach Vicente del Bosque on Sunday slammed as a slur the idea the defending champions might play for a draw Monday against Croatia knowing a point would send both sides through at the expense of Italy.

"It's a lack of respect," stormed Torres when asked if the Spaniards might feel that a draw would suit them.

"There is no reason to talk of this result occurring - it's a lack of respect," said Torres in response to fears in the Italian media that Italy might fall victim to a stitch up.

"Just to mention it is to call into question all those of us here. We need to win," Torres insisted.

"Neither side is thinking of a pact - to talk like that is not football".

Italy have been haunted by such fears, however, since Denmark and Sweden played to a 2-2 draw at Euro 2004, a result which eliminated the Italians.

The same result between Spain and Croatia would send them into the last eight here even if Italy beat the Republic of Ireland in their final game.

Del Bosque, who also confirmed Sunday he had extended his contract through to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, insisted that the whole idea of a pact with the Croatians was repugnant to him.

"I am not thinking for one instant about such a possibility. I believe in a clean game," insisted Del Bosque, who led the Furia Roja to the last World Cup having taken over from Euro 2008 winning coach Luis Aragones.

"I am sure that Croatia think the same way as we do. We are participating at a fiesta of European football," Del Bosque reminded his audience at a press conference.

Regarding his contract extension he told reporters: "There was no hurry" as there had been a verbal agreement between him and the Spanish Football Federation on the issue for several months.

"This shows the confidence of the Spanish Federation's advisory directive in its technical team - we are trying to do things as well as possible." said Del Bosque.

Del Bosque said there were other issues he wishes to concentrate on.

"Quite apart from the contract extension we have to talk about our objectives, which are the Euro, then there are the World Cup qualifiers for Brazil 2014, the Confederations Cup (next summer) and the World Cup itself assuming we qualify."

He insisted that if for some reason things went badly over the coming months he would not hesitate to offer to stand aside but believed he was safe in his seat for now with Spain sweeping all before them recently.

"I don't have any enemies - or I don't know of any," he quipped.

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