Spain name final 23 man squad for Euro 2012
Spain manager Vincente Del Bosque has named his final 23 man squad for this summer’s European Championships.
The holders will be without injured Barcelona duo David Villa and Carles Puyol, but have named a strong selection, which includes four English-based players: Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David Silva (Manchester City), and Chelsea pair Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
Spain recorded a 2-0 international friendly victory over Serbia yesterday in St. Gallen, but six of the players who featured in that game have been cut from the final squad. Atletico Madrid forward Adrian came off the bench to make his debut, and opened the scoring before winning the penalty which made it 2-0. However, he was not expected to be included in the final squad, with Roberto Soldado the most notable omission. The striker scored a hat-trick against Venezuela in February, and netted 17 goals in La Liga this season for Valencia, but lost out to Barcelona’s Pedro and Sevilla’s Álvaro Negredo in the final shake-up.
“It is painful for anyone who we left out,” Del Bosque said after announcing the squad. “They will be disappointed, but should not despair. A few months ago it was unthinkable that they would get their debuts and now we will look favorably upon them for the future. It is especially painful for some of them. Against Serbia, for example, we have seen that from Monreal, Beñat, Adrian, everyone who played worked hard and played great and have confirmed what we have seen of them. Therefore, the most painful thing is not being able to bring more people.”
As well as Villa and Puyol, Del Bosque had two main injury worries: Cesc Fabregas and Andoni Iraola. Fabregas should be fit for the tournament, but Del Bosque has chosen not to risk the Bilbao right-back. “These are the two cases that were hard to decide,” Del Bosque admitted. “As for Cesc, the doctors have all the information and are optimistic. So we have not seen fit to punish him not for an injury that will heal soon. In the case of Iraola, he was given our full attention, but the doctors said it would be difficult for him to play in such big games. H is not fit and we opted for another solution.”
Del Bosque also spoke highly of David Villa, who would have been a guaranteed starter at Euro 2012. The Barcelona striker has an incredible international record with 51 goals in 82 games. “Villa is irreplaceable,” Del Bosque said. “No one is better or more effective than him. But of course we have options with Mata, Silva, Pedro, Iniesta or even a striker on the left. We have solutions for all problems, but it’s true and I have to say, Villa all that he has given us, he is irreplaceable.”
Spain open their Euro 2012 campaign against Italy before taking on the Republic of Ireland in Gdansk on June 14th.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina, (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla)