No surprises in world champions line-up
MADRID, Spain ● Spain coach Vicente del Bosque announced Tuesday a preliminary line-up for the Euro 2012 but many big names including injured David Villa remain in suspense.
Del Bosque has to wait until Barcelona have finished their May 25 domestic King’s Cup final against Athletic Bilbao before deciding which star players he will pluck for a final list to be released May 27.
Chelsea winger Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres are also off the list until the London club have faced Bayern Munich in their May 19 Champions League final.
Real Madrid are available, however, and the league champions’ players take a key part in the first list, which decides who will be training on the national team in Schruns, Austria, from May 22-31.
Del Bosque has turned to many of the top players available for the two upcoming friendlies against Serbia May 26 and South Korea May 30.
From Real Madrid he has taken goalie and Spain captain Iker Casillas, defender Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso. Raul Albiol also snags a place left open by Barcelona’s Carles Puyol, sidelined for at least six weeks after surgery to his right knee.
David Silva, who helped Manchester City win the English Premier League title, is also there.
In attack, the Spain side remains in suspense with strikers Alvaro Negredo of Sevilla and Roberto Soldado of Valencia, both on the list.
Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente must wait until the King’s Cup to know his fate.
Barcelona’s David Villa remains in doubt, too. Club coach Pep Guardiola said Friday the forward is “coming on very well” but he faces a battle to make the squad after fracturing his tibia at last December’s Club World Cup.
Del Bosque has admitted he is worried he may have to do without Villa — who has scored 51 goals in 82 internationals — given the star may not be match fit even if he can make the squad.
Among the surprise call-ups are uncapped Benat Etxebarria of Real Betis and Benfica midfielder Javier Garcia.
Malaga, who ended fourth in La Liga, and Atletico Madrid, who beat Athletic Bilbao to take the Europa League trophy, are both rewarded.
Malaga have three players in the squad: Santi Cazorla; midfielder Francisco “Isco” Roman Alarcon Suarez; and winger Nacho Monreal. Atletico Madrid contribute right winger Juan Francisco “Juanfran” Torres and forward Adrian Lopez Alvarez.
Provisional lineup of 21 players:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool/ENG), David De Gea (Manchester United/ENG)
Defenders: Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Alvaro Dominguez (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Malaga), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Santiago Cazorla (Malaga), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Isco (Malaga), Benat Etxebarria (Real Betis), Javier Garcia (Benfica/POR), Bruno Soriano (Villarreal)
Forwards: Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Roberto Soldado (Valencia), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Adrian Lopez Alvarez (Atletico Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City)