Spain's buildup to their Euro 2016 Group D game with Croatia on Tuesday has been clouded by winger Pedro threatening to quit the squad and drawing the ire of coach Vicente Del Bosque.
Pedro has been little used so far and let his frustrations get the better of him when he told Spanish Movistar Television on Monday: "If I do not see any progress, then it will be difficult for me to continue to be part of the team, to be there for the players."
He was later given the chance to clarify his comments but said: "I regret nothing. It was not an attack against the coach. If I have to apologize, especially to the fans, then I will."
Defending champions Spain have already qualified for the last 16 but are keen to wrap up top spot so that they face one of the third-placed teams from another group.
Croatia are only two points behind the Spanish, and Del Bosque could have done without the Pedro distraction.
"I talked to him. He told me that he doesn't want to upset anyone," said the coach. "His subconscious has betrayed him. He said something and now must live with the consequences."
Croatia are hoping to bounce back from a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic which was marred by crowd trouble and led to a fine from UEFA.
They refused to discuss that Monday and instead are aiming to do their talking on the pitch.
"Spain are one of the favourites, one of the teams who can win the championship," attacking midfielder Ivan Perisic said. "They’re playing good football, they’ve played together for a long time.
"They will not defend tomorrow, they’ll play their football and maybe this is good for us."
Coach Ante Cacic is sweating on the fitness of midfielder Luka Modric who went off injured against the Czechs and he will be a late decision.
"He did an MRI, there’s no extension, no rupture of the muscle," Cacic said. "I will decide tomorrow or after this evening’s training session if he will play or not.
"He’s a really important player for the team."
Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 10:20
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 09:29