La Roja bid to bounce back from World Cup humiliation with a fresh bunch of players, with Vicente del Bosque hoping they can inject some energy into his team
Vicente del Bosque has culled eight of the players who flopped as Spain crashed out of World Cup 2014 at the group stage for his latest squad, including Gerard Pique, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
Pique came under fire for his performances in Brazil, Mata has yet to blossom since joining Manchester United while Torres’ omission is hardly a surprise as he has looked a shadow of the striker he once was throughout his stay at Chelsea.
David Villa announced his international retirement during the World Cup, with Barcelona veteran Xavi following suit shortly afterwards, while Xabi Alonso confirmed he would also focus on club duties ahead of his move from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich.
Pepe Reina’s move to Bayern has not helped his efforts at being kept in the Roja set up and his new Allianz Arena team-mate Javi Martinez is left out due to a serious injury picked up earlier in August.
Among the fresh faces in Del Bosque’s squad to face France in a friendly and Macedonia in a European Championship qualifier in early September are Santiago Bernabeu struggler Isco and Camp Nou defender Marc Bartra.
A super season with Atletico Madrid has seen Raul Garcia given a nod to join the selection by the World Cup 2010-winning coach, who has also given the chance of gaining senior international debuts to Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and Athletic Bilbao centre-back Mikel San Jose.
Diego Costa’s knock which makes him a doubt to play for Chelsea this weekend against Everton has not stopped Del Bosque from picking the converted Spaniard in his 23-man party.
“This is a squad for the present, but designed looking toward the future,” Del Bosque told reporters. “This is a special list given recent events.
“It comes after our poor showing at the World Cup and we have to look ahead.”
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Kiko Casilla (Espanyol), David de Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marc Bartra (Barcelona), Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Raul Garcia (Atletico Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Koke (Atletico Madrid).
Forwards: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Diego Costa (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid) Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Pedro (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City).