Spain coach: Torres should rest up

Torres returned to training in midweek following a lay-off with a

knee problem and is line to return for the clash with Wigan on

March 8. European champions Spain are amongst the favourites to

take the World Cup crown in South Africa in July and 59-year-old

Del Bosque insists his country’s chances would improve by Torres

being kept out of action. The comments could anger Liverpool boss

Rafa Benitez, who has seen his talisman play just 21 times this

season. He has notched 12 goals during an injury-ravaged campaign

that has seen the club struggle to hold on to the coveted fourth

Champions League place. Torres’ recent battle with a groin problem

was sustained whilst on international duty with Spain, reigniting

the club versus country row that provides the backdrop to national

team fixtures. But del Bosque wants the 25-year-old to play less

for the Merseysiders in an attempt to keep him in top condition for

this summer’s finals in South Africa. He told the News of the

World: “The fewer games Fernando plays for his club, the better it

will be for us. “We want him not to play too many games, to recover

completely for the World Cup and have had some rest in between.

We’d like him fresh for the tournament. “That can only be good news

for Spain. We hope Liverpool’s loss will be our gain. “Fernando

Torres represents a crucial part of our squad.”