Del Bosque names World Cup squad
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has named his final 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Barcelona duo Victor Valdés and Pedro Rodríguez, along with Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martínez are all ready to make their international débuts after making the cut yesterday.
All three players have had excellent seasons; Valdés won the Zamora trophy – awarded to the best goalkeeper in Spain for the second consecutive year. He conceded just 24 goals in 38 games – 11 less than runner-up Iker Casillas in the same number of games.
Pedro enjoyed a fine breakthrough season up front for Barca, scoring a total of 22 goals, becoming the very first player to score in every competition in which he took part – La Liga, Champions League, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
Martínez has also been in fantastic form for Athletic this season, scoring six league goals in 34 appearances and attracting interest from giants Real Madrid in the process.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona are the club with the most representatives (eight), then come Real Madrid (five), Valencia (three), Athletic & Liverpool (two), and Sevilla, Villarreal and Arsenal with one.
The seven players who were dropped from the preliminary squad are: Diego López (Villarreal), De Gea (Atlético), Azpilicueta (Osasuna), Senna (Villarreal), Cazorla (Villarreal), Negredo (Sevilla) and Güiza (Fenerbache).
The final 23 man squad is:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), José Manuel Reina (Liverpool), Víctor Valdés (Barcelona).
Defenders: Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Raúl Albiol (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xavi Hernández (Barcelona), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fábregas (Arsenal), Javi Martínez (Athletic).
Forwards: Jesús Navas (Sevilla), David Silva (Valencia), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Barcelona), Pedro Rodríguez (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic).