Isco in Spain squad, but no place for Torres

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 10:00 hrs

Madrid, Feb 2 (IANS) Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has named a 21-man squad for Wednesday's friendly game against Uruguay.

One of Del Bosque's main tasks for the game, which will be played in Qatar, was to find a replacement for goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who broke a bone in his left hand 10 days ago, reports Xinhua.

Instead the Spain coach Friday decided to not convoke a third keeper, picking just Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes, who are normally substitutes to Casillas.

There are two new faces in the squad, with Cheslea right back Cesar Azpiliqueta given a first call-up along with Malaga midfielder, Isco, who has been in outstanding form this season and has been a regular for the Spain Under-21 side.

One surprise is the decision to leave Chelsea striker Fernando Torres out of the squad and Del Bosque has named just three strikers, Juan Mata, Alvaro Negredo and David Villa.

The coach praised Villa, who has struggled to earn a starting place with Barcelona this season, but who is the highest ever goalscorer for the Spain national team.

"Torres is one of the players who has been an international the most times for us, but we can't find a space for him. Villa's case is not comparable with anyone. He has not been first choice for his club, but he is vital for us in the national team because of the goals he scored," said Del Bosque who admitted he would have liked to include other players such as Swansea City striker, Michu, who is one of the top scorers in England.

"I have had a bad taste in my mouth because I have not been able to call some players who deserve to go. I have seen his value and goals in the Premier League, but I can't find space for him (Michu) at the moment," said Del Bosque.

Full Squad: Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea),Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabrigas (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Isco (Malaga)

Strikers: Juan Mata (Chelsea), AlvaroNegredo (Sevilla), David Villa (Barcelona).

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