Former Spain international Gaizka Mendieta took your questions in an exclusive live chat, naming the players expects to bow out of international football after La Roja’s disastrous World Cup and those he hopes will lead them forward in the future.
@juans_ova asked: Which Spanish players do you expect to bow out now?
Gaizka says: The players who haven’t been involved in the games will hopefully play today against Australia. Koke, Juan Mata, they will be the new generation of players for Spain. It’s hard to say with Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iker Casillas, David Villa… that generation are ready for a new stage in their careers. If not now, then soon, in the next few months. It’s down to the new generation now.
@santhiish9 asked: Who do you think will lead Spain in the years to come other than Diego Costa?
Gaizka says: The young players like David De Gea, Mata, Koke and Cesc Fabregas. These will be key players. Thay have already been involved and they will lead the new Spain.
@krx99 asked: Is there too much emphasis to develop midfielders in Spain? Should they develop real No 9s as well?
Gaizka says: We have them, it’s a matter of how we play. We have strikers but it’s more about how they will play for us. Barca maybe changed things but we have a few of the best players in the world in each position.
@joel_mathew93 asked: What are Belgium’s chances of winning the World Cup?
Gaizka says: They have done well. But experience is important. They have a good team but they maybe lack this. They are the surprise package.
@jfrcoates asked: What reaction would you expect if Spain lost to Australia?
Gaizka says: I hope not. I don’t want to think about it! Australia played very well in both games. They are physical to play against, Tim Cahill scored a brilliant goal. It won’t be easy.
@kaz_abs asked: What will Diego Costa bring to the Premier League with Chelsea?
Gaizka says: Definitely goals, he gives 100 per cent as well. He works so hard for the team, has great spirit. The fans will love him. His quality is great and the fact he gives everything in the games. He’s physical, strong, not afraid to fight with defenders!
It’s the best place for him, although he was right for Atletico, where they played more direct. He’s very clever with his movement too. He creates space for himself and his team-mates.
@Aadirock asked: Was Del Bosque wrong in picking World Cup squad he did?
Gaizka says: No one can doubt Del Bosque in any way. If you look at the players they picked, they were the right ones. Jesus Navas missing out was a surprise. We only had Pedro with that pace. But position by position we had great players.
@jokqu_es asked: Who are the best players so far in the tournament?
Gaizka says: Thomas Muller has been very good so far for Germany. Lionel Messi and Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo as well. Their teams rely on them so much. Messi scored two goals and that’s amazing, when you think how their teams rely on them. It’s not easy. It’s the mark of a great player. It’s not easy to play fantastic and score in every game. But there’s a real responsibility. In my day, there was Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul, Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta … players who could cope with the responsibility.
@McIntoshRosco asked: There doesn’t seem to be the same unity in the [Spain] squad this time, they don’t seem as together. Any reason for this?
Gaizka says: I think there is, it’s something Del Bosque has always wanted to preserve. Maybe because of what has happened, people are looking at this. They get on well, they always have.
@fulefc asked: What’s gone wrong with Fabregas? Will a move to Chelsea be good for him?
Gaizka says: Del Bosque wanted to play with one striker so he’s not played so much. The Premier League suits him though, it’s where he made his name. Chelsea play more direct football and the manager knows him well, so I can’t see why not. He needs to play week in, week out, which didn’t happen at Barcelona. But it won’t be easy at Chelsea either. He could be the Frank Lampard-type player, now he’s leaving, the ones who makes the runs.
@safakhojamli asked: Isn’t it time to pick De Gea as the first choice keeper? It seems the Casillas era is done!
Gaizka says: I think he’s had a great season in the Premier League with Manchester United. But there’s Victor Valdes too. De Gea is definitely one for after the World Cup. Now I think he’ll play Pepe Reina – he deserves that respect. Casillas’ future? I’m not sure if he’ll stay at Madrid, he’s had some offers. It’s nice for fans if a player stays at one club for his whole career.
But you can’t blame him [for Spain’s exit]. Before the World Cup most people thought he had to play. It’s more a collective under-performance but the keeper is always pointed out. People are being harsh, but that comes with the positon.
Don’t forget, if David Silva had scored (when Spain were leading the Dutch 1-0) they’d have won. Against Chile they had many chances too. What was surprising was that we allowed Holland to score just before half-time. We should have had possession but they let Holland attack. They were unrecognisable then, really. That was the moment it went right for Holland and wrong for Spain. That was it.
@hela_tm asked: Do you think it’s time Del Bosque steps down?
Gaizka says: It should be down to him to make the decision. If he has the energy then fine, he can stay. There’s a lot of ingredients to what happened in this World Cup. It’s not just down to Del Bosque and as I said, he deserves everyone’s respect.
@sammyt asked: Do you think Ronaldo was right to say Portugal can’t win the tournament?
Gaizka says: I think he meant they can’t be considered favourites, and I agree with him. They have a good team of course but it’s going to be tough for them. If they go on from here it will be a great achievement.
@timosulR12 asked: Why did Ronaldo storm off down the tunnel after the whistle against USA, and he had just laid on the equaliser?
Gaizka says: It’s his character, his personality, he’s such a winner. He gets angry with himself if things don’t go right. He maybe comes off as disrepectful to the opposition and the referee, but he feels he’s let everyone down. He missed a couple of chances, a couple of headers. He will have been very excited about this World Cup. The Champions League was great, but maybe he’s too anxious and he got upset. I thought Portugal would do better.