Del Bosque: Spain still on top
Vicente del Bosque insists Spanish football remains healthy despite the failure of their two biggest clubs to reach the Champions League final.
Real Madrid and Barcelona were both knocked out in the semi-finals, ending hopes and expectations of a 'Clasico' final between the two heavyweights.
Instead Bayern Munich and Chelsea will battle it out for honours on May 19, leading some to question whether Spain's recent dominance of the sport is on the wane.
However, national team coach Del Bosque insists that is not the case, pointing to the fact the Europa League final will be contested between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.
"Last week after the Champions League matches, some people were asking questions about football in this country with the unexpected and surprising exits of Real Madrid and Barcelona," Del Bosque told a press conference on Friday.
"But our football continues to be the best in Europe.
"We are in a very healthy position and Spanish society should be able to take pride in our sporting achievements."
Aside from the country's success at club level, Spain are also the reigning world and European champions and will aim to make it a hat-trick of titles in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
Del Bosque is aware it will be a big challenge for his players, but one they are nevertheless looking forward to.
"We face an unprecedented challenge, a win after a win after a win, and we want to make history," he said.
"We are favourites but we should not think about it.
"We have an obligation to defend our title, it will be difficult but we will face the challenge head-on."
Del Bosque will name his provisional Euro 2012 squad on May 15, with the players gathering for training on May 20.
Spain's final 23-man squad will then be announced on May 27.