Villa: Del Bosque rises above Mourinho claims

The Barcelona forward says his national team coach will not allow the Portuguese’s recent comments to get under his skin

David Villa has defended Spain coach Vicente del Bosque after Jose Mourinho suggested that the Fifa Coach of the Year award is fixed.

The Real Madrid boss hinted this week that the voting process for the award – which was given to la Roja’s coach at the Ballon d’Or ceremony – is underhand, but the Barcelona attacker has rubbished his suggestions.

“Vicente is one of the most decorated people in the history of this game,” he said to reporters on Thursday. “He rises above polemics, that’s what he’s like as a person and as a coach.”

Spain face Finland in a World Cup 2014 qualifier on Friday and Villa – who has been prolific for his country during his career – is a likely starter having rediscovered his form for Barca, which has delighted the ex-Valencia frontman.

He added: “I’ve been able to start four matches in a row and the team have got some important wins in games and I feel very happy.

“I’m happy to help the team and I’m delighted that the coaches are still confident in me. At the moment I’m thinking about the present and the near future and I hope to be able to finish this season in the best way possible for me and my club.”

The reigning world and European champions travel to play Group I rivals France next Tuesday, but Villa only has eyes for Friday’s Scandinavian opponents at present.

“The only game that matters for us right now is the one against Finland,” he said. “We have to get on the right track to qualifying for the World Cup.

“We have learnt more about them in the last few days. I’m sure they’ll put pressure on us from above, which is something other teams don’t always do. They have three strikers and it’ll be like any other game, with them desperate to beat Spain.”

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