SPAIN, the world champions, are not rigid "Talibans" and can vary their trademark possession style when they have to, coach Vicente del Bosque said yesterday.

Spain begin their bid to retain the trophy on Friday against the Netherlands, their rivals in the final four years ago in South Africa when the Dutch used a physical approach to try and unsettle them.

The Netherlands now have a coach in Louis van Gaal who hopes to continue the Dutch traditions of total football but has also admitted that he will look to bolster the defence against Spain with five at the back in the Group B match at Salvadore.

Loading article content

"We are not Talibans with just one way of playing," Del Bosque said. "Possession without depth doesn't have any point. For that reason we are working so that the team can pressure to win back possession and then as a group attack.

"Football is played in many ways. We don't have a magic formula, we have a plan based on the players that we have available."