Spain striker Fernando
Torres could miss selection for next year's European Championships if he does not get more playing time with Premier
League club Chelsea, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has said.
In an interview with the Spanish sports daily As on Friday,
the former Real Madrid coach said Torres's poor club form was a
"There are five months until the European Championships
during which everything could turn around but if the situation
does not change it will be hard for him," Del Bosque said.
The 27-year-old striker, who scored the goal against Germany
in 2008 that won the Spanish their second European title, has
netted just five times in 23 games since his January move to
London from Liverpool and seven of his 12 Chelsea appearances
this season have been as a substitute.
"Fernando deserves respect for his record and he has our
confidence but if he is not playing, there are certain things
that are obvious," Del Bosque added.
"If he plays and he is on form he'll go to the Euros. He has
contributed to the successes and he has room for manoeuvre."
Torres's form has become more of an issue for the world
champions since the nation's all-time top scorer David Villa
broke his leg playing for Barcelona this month.
Villa should return in time for the tournament in Ukraine
and Poland but Del Bosque has other options for the forward
line, including Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente, who is
currently out injured, and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.
Valencia captain Roberto Soldado, who has scored 11 goals in
La Liga and five in the Champions League this season, is also
pushing hard for a recall.
Del Bosque told As that if Soldado maintained his form he
would be selected.
The 26-year-old has represented Spain twice, in June 2007,
when he failed to score.
"If Roberto Soldado maintains his current form we'll include
him in our plans," Del Bosque said.
"In the last few months Soldado has stood out, scoring goals
which is the barometer of forwards, while others have been in
difficult situations," he added.
"Villa and Llorente are injured, Torres has not played much.
What nobody should doubt is that I will try to be fair."
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