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Spain omit Mata and Torres

Juan Mata's move from Chelsea to Manchester United has failed to earn him a recall to the Spain squad.

Last Updated: 05/03/14 at 16:48 Post Comment

Juan Mata: Omitted from Spain squad

Juan Mata: Omitted from Spain squad

The 25-year-old midfielder has been a regular starter for United since his switch from Stamford Bridge last month but he has failed to catch the eye of Spain boss Vicente del Bosque.

Del Bosque has also omitted Chelsea striker Fernando Torres from his 22-man squad for the high-profile friendly international against Italy in Madrid on Wednesday.

The duo now face a struggle to impress Del Bosque ahead of the World Cup this summer as this is his last game before he names his preliminary list of 30 players for Brazil in May, although the coach tweeted: "This is a list only for the match against Italy. It doesn't mean anything for Brazil 2014."

Juventus striker Fernando Llorente, who has been in fine form in Serie A, and Atletico Madrid's David Villa are other notable omissions, while Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique is absent due to injury.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could make his debut for Spain at the Vicente Calderon - his home ground - after scoring 27 times in all competitions this season.

Costa completed the nationalisation process that allowed him to switch allegiances from Brazil to Spain in time for La Roja's friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa last November, but was forced to miss both games due to injury.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara is rewarded for his impressive form for the Bundesliga champions with a call-up to the senior squad for the first time this season.

Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta is also included for the first time since the Confederations Cup ahead of Real Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa.

Del Bosque said: "We think Azpilicueta is playing well at Chelsea and we will take a closer look at him.

"The same with Thiago. He is playing for Bayern Munich, one of the best teams in Europe, and he is in the starting line-up despite the high degree of competition."

Manchester City duo David Silva and Alvara Negredo also feature in the squad.

Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that Spain will play their final warm-up game before the World Cup against El Salvador in Washington, D.C. on June 7.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City).

Forwards: Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), Pedro (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid).

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Readers' Comments

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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