Del Bosque: Tahiti sportsmanship good for football

Martin Macdonald
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Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has praised the competitive spirit of Tahiti as well as the professional manner of his side's performance in the wake of la Roja's 10-0 rout.

Eddy Etaeta's men went into the Confederations Cup match as overwhelming underdogs and, despite the gulf in class and massive deficit at full-time, won over many neutrals inside the Maracana as they bravely fought against the European and world champions.

The Spain boss was full of superlatives for Tahiti when questioned after the match, and also spoke of his delight at the sportsmanship showed by his own squad.

"You have to look at the positives," Del Bosque told reporters. "We've played with good tone, intensity and we have been respectful.

"Surely that sportmanship [Spain and Tahiti players embracing after the match] is also good for football."

The 62-year-old went on to discuss the atmosphere during in the match, in which Tahiti was clearly favored by the local fans in Rio de Janeiro, though he thinks his team is growing on the Brazilian public.

"I am sure that there were whistles against Spain, and some went beyond the football field," he said.

“The people showed us their affection against Uruguay and are showing us more day-by-day."

Spain faces Nigeria on Sunday in pole position to reach the semifinal of the Confederations Cup, having already notched up two wins and 12 goals from its first two Group B matches.