SPAIN ANNOUNCE TIGHT WC SQUAD
By: Nhlanhla Ndlovu
Defending FIFA World Cup champions Spain have announced their 23-man squad in their quest to become the first team to win back-to-back titles.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque called up mostly Spanish based players for the tournament, which starts in less than two weeks.
The squad features familiar faces such as Andres Iniesta, who assisted the Spanish to be the first European side to claim the title outside Europe when they beat the Netherlands in South Africa four years ago.
Chelsea’s target man, Fernando Torres made sure that his name appears on Del Bosque’s list after scoring a goal against Bolivia with Iniesta to win the game 2-0 in a friendly on Friday.
Torres was announced to pair with Spain’s all time leading goal scorer, David Villa, and Diego Costa in the front line of the side.
Costa came in place of Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo, who has been part of the setup since the 2012 UEFA Euro championships.
Costa was named with his Atletico Madrid teammates Juanfran Torres, Koke and Villa after their team had a successful season, winning the La Liga league title and were runners up in the UEFA Champions League.
The two-time UEFA Euro champions will kick off their campaign against The Netherlands on 13 June in a repeat of the World Cup final in 2010.
Their assignment also includes Chile on 18 June 18 and then face Australia on the 23rd.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Koke (Atletico Madrid), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andries Iniesta (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Pedro Rodriquez (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City).
Strikers: Fernando Torres (Chelsea), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid).