Madrid: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres' lack of playing time could cost him a spot in Spain's squad when the European champions defend their title in June, according to coach Vicente del Bosque.
Torres has found himself relegated to Chelsea's substitutes bench, with Del Bosque calling the 27-year-old situation's "worrying."
"There are still five months until the European Championship and everything could turn around," Del Bosque said Saturday in an interview in daily sports newspaper AS. "But if the situation doesn't change, it will be hard for him."
Torres has made 88 appearances for Spain, and scored the winning goal against Germany in the Euro 2008 final to give the team its first major trophy in 44 years.
But Torres struggled as Spain won the World Cup last year and has scored just five goals in 24 appearances since leaving Liverpool in January. He has scored more Premier League goals in 2011 for Liverpool (4), than Chelsea (3), and was again a substitute Saturday as Chelsea lost 3-1 to Aston Villa to fall out of the top four.
"Fernando deserves respect for his record, and he has all of our confidence. But if he doesn't play ... then certain things are obvious," Del Bosque said. "If he plays and is in good form then he will go to the Euro."
Del Bosque said a February friendly will give a good indication of his Euro squad, with Valencia striker Roberto Soldado set to make the team if he continues his current form. Soldado is the leading Spanish striker with 16 league goals plus five in the Champions League. Soldado could also earn a spot with Barcelona striker David Villa recovering from leg surgery, and Fernando Llorente also injured. Alvaro Negredo also remains in the picture.
"Villa and Llorente are injured, Torres has not played much," Del Bosque said. "No one should doubt that I will try to be fair."