France game 'key to qualification' - Busquets
MADRID (AFP) –
Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets is targeting six points from two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France over the next six days to help secure the world champions place in Brazil next year.
Vicente del Bosque’s side are currently level on points with France at the top of their qualification group and Busquets believes whoever wins the clash between the two in Paris on Tuesday is likely to also win the group.
“I don’t know if it will be a final against France, but it will certainly be a key game,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.
“The team that gets the three points from that game will be very well positioned.
“We know that the game against Finland will not be easy. We have seen videos of them and they are a hard team. We hope to win so we have it all to play for against France.”
Busquets also played down any suggestions that old divides between Real Madrid and Barcelona players would have been reopened by their recent clashes, but did accept that the loss of the captains of both clubs to injury is a big miss.
Iker Casillas has just returned to training following a hand injury, whilst Carles Puyol recently underwent knee surgery. However, Xavi Hernandez has joined up with the squad despite his troublesome hamstring and Busquets said his presence is a sign of how important these two games are.
“Here the players of Barcelona and Real Madrid are all in the same ship. We know how to differentiate between what happens at club level and what happens with the national team.
“If Iker and Puyol had the same chance of being here then they would be, just like Xavi is. We are playing for a World Cup.”
Whilst Busquets is certain to start both games barring injury, Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia is a relative newcomer to the squad and he is looking to make the most of his opportunity.
“We know that to get into the national team is very complicated. There are players of a great level that have been left out,” he said ahead of the clash with Finland in Gijon.
“You can’t be complacent. I have come to take advantage of my opportunity, to fight to continue being included and to help the team qualify for the World Cup.”