Del Bosque accepts Euro 2016 criticism

Funny Moments – Matchday 34

Vicente Del Bosque has accepted the criticism that came his way after he named an unchanged starting XI in all three games at the European Championships thus far.

Defending champions Spain picked up maximum points in their first two Group D fixtures against Czech Republic and Turkey, before being defeated 2-1 by Croatia – who subsequently topped the group.

"I accept it because it goes with my position. Had I made changes and we lost, people would have said 'why change something that works?' But there was nothing to alter," he told AS.

Del Bosque clinched the World Cup with La Roja in 2010 and made history by leading Spain to two consecutive European championship titles in 2008 and 2012.

However, in Spain's last group fixture, the 65-year-old conceded his refusal to make changes to his preferred starting XI backfired.

Chelsea winger Pedro publicly stated his disappointment at getting minimal game-time, following his nine-minute spell on the pitch against Croatia.

"It hurts me not to be able to use more of the other players. But I only have words of gratitude to those who have not played. They have shown availability, they have helped each day in training and in the camp," Del Bosque added.

Spain face Italy in their round of 16 encounter at the Stade de France on Monday.