“We were surprised at the news out here in Poland and we are all shocked and saddened — though we knew he was seriously ill,” Del Bosque said.

Roque, who was just 23, spent four years on the fringes of the first team at Anfield after joining then Spanish coach Rafa Benitez as a teenager in 2005. He moved back to Spain with Betis in 2009 but was diagnosed in March last year with pelvic cancer.