Spain captain Iker Casillas has said that there is no tension within the squad despite rumours persist that many members of the Spanish national team squad do not get along well.
The Spanish national team squad is largely based on players from Real Madrid and Barcelona. The rivalry between the two clubs is well known, but it has gone to new levels in the last couple of seasons following the unprecedented success of Barcelona. As a result, there is tension amongst the Real Madrid and Barcelona contingent within the squad. Iker Casillas, though, has dismissed any such suggestions by saying that it would have been a problem only last year, but not now.
Spain come into the tournament as the defending champions, but have been rocked by a number of injury problems to key players like David Villa and Carlos Puyol. Even though Iker Casillas concedes that it is a major blow for Spain to miss out on these two players, he has said that the national team has enough quality to replace them.
Spain will be starting their Euro 2012 campaign against Italy, which is possibly the toughest test in the group stages for the reigning champions. Spain are looking to become a record-breaking team by winning three major tournaments in succession.
“If the Euros had been in 2011, it [the Clasico rivalry] would have been a problem, but now we have a laugh about it. This tension is now gone and I think we should look on the bright side: we have moved on. I’ve seen videos of Italy and I think they a great team. They have many interesting players and they have been renovated. They have both veterans and hopeful youngsters, with a lot of players from Juventus. I have maximum respect for them,” said Iker Casillas.