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01 Jun 2009 14:07
Spain will go to the Confederations Cup later this month with nearly the same lineup it used to win the 2008 European Championship.
Coach Vicente del Bosque named 17 of the 23 players that were part of the Euro 2008 success on Monday, including the majority of
starters. Injured Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna is the only regular that missed out.
Del Bosque also included injured Barcelona players Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique despite the Spanish champions saying that the two players were doubts for the eight-nation tournament in South Africa.
Barcelona, fresh from its Champions League triumph last week, is best represented with five players in the 23-man squad with Euro 2008 best player Xavi Hernandez, midfielder Sergio Busquets and defender Carles Puyol also in the team.
Del Bosque included main strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres, while Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas will be in goal.
Del Bosque also named Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla, who played for the first time in nearly two months on Sunday after recovering from a broken leg.
Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, Valencia winger Juanma Mata and Liverpool’s Albert Riera made the squad after becoming regular call-ups since last summer’s success, which broke 44 years without a trophy in major championships.
Spain, which hasn’t lost a match since November 2006—a stretch of 31 games, opens against New Zealand in Group A on June 14.
They will also play Iraq and South Africa in the group stage.
The final will be played in Johannesburg on June 28.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Diego Lopez (Villarreal).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol and Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool).
Midfielders: Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Albert Riera and Xavi Alonso (Liverpool), David Silva and Juanma Mata (Valencia).
Forwards: Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbahce).—Sapa
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