Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Benitez given assurances over Torres fitness

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has assured Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez he will not risk Fernando Torres against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday if there is the slightest doubt over the striker's fitness.

Torres has had some problems in his adductor muscle over the past week but still played 53 minutes of Spain's victory over Armenia on Saturday.

There was a suggestion that Del Bosque could opt not to take the forward to Bosnia after allowing Carles Puyol, Carlos Marchena, Xavi, Dani Guiza and Cesc Fabregas to pull out the squad.

However, the Spain boss remains firm that Torres will play if fit.

"Torres is in very good hands here," Del Bosque told AS.

"Yesterday he stayed at the hotel and did not train because we went to a pitch in which there was no stretcher.

"He stayed at the hotel with the physios.

"(Liverpool manager) Rafa Benitez has called me and I reassured him. We will care very much for Torres, like the rest.

"I told him (Benitez) that we will treat Torres as if he was at Liverpool.

"If the boy is well and wants to play, he will play against Bosnia. And if he has any problem, he will not play.

"It's that simple."

There has been criticism from some parts that Del Bosque is favouring Barcelona after he allowed Xavi, who is carrying a similar injury to Torres, to leave the squad.

However, the Spain boss has shrugged off accusations of favouritism.

"I insist that there is no preferential treatment and there is the best care for everyone," he added.

"I respect everyone but they have to respect the national team.

"We have a duty to win and to call up the best. They (Puyol and Xavi) weren't going to play in Bosnia. I don't care if a player comes from (Real) Madrid, Barcelona or Fenerbahce.

"I would have done the same in all cases.

"Taking a player along for the sake of it has never been my style."

Marchena and Guiza are also injured while Puyol is suspended and Fabregas was allowed to leave for personal reasons.