Del Bosque was filmed appearing to take away Fabregas’ vest before handing it to Xabi Alonso and was reported to have been unhappy with the Chelsea midfielder’s lack of effort during the session.
However, in an interview with Cuatro the Spain boss insisted that the incident had been blown out of proportion.
“I wasn’t taking his training bib from him,” he said in quotes translated by AS.com. “It was a minor incident, nothing really. One of the teams was numerically inferior to the other in the practice match and so I decided to change it around. I was asking Xabi Alonso for support. It’s no big deal. I am very grateful to the players.”
However, he then added:
“I think about all of my players — they think only of themselves”.
Del Bosque also addressed Alonso’s comments that Spain’s exit had been down to a failure to maintain their hunger and change was inevitable.
The Spain coach said: “What he said at that moment is that life changes for all of us and none of us are the same as we were six years ago. Maybe we are not the same. It was a general reflection.”
The former Real Madrid boss, who led Spain to glory at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, said he had found it hard to cope with some of the criticism from the media.
“Some of it has hurt me because it has come from close to home,” he said. “When I see on a Real Madrid webpage or a website related to Madrid that I am a puppet in the hands of the Barca players, that hurts me.
“The rest I can accept. Those who are arguing that we haven’t played well don’t upset me. Even when we were winning we received criticism or my role has been questioned.”