Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Spain leave Torres out of squad

AP, MADRID

Fernando Torres was yesterday left out of the Spain squad for the team’s upcoming friendly with Uruguay.

Last year, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque dropped the Chelsea striker for friendlies against Venezuela and Panama. Torres has made the squad for all three of Spain’s World Cup qualifiers, but has only played in one, coming on late against France before the French equalized for a draw.

Del Bosque called up Malaga forward Francisco “Isco” Alarcon and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in the only slight surprises in a squad filled with regular faces.

Del Bosque did not include Swansea forward Miguel “Michu” Perez or promising Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas despite speculation they would get their first call ups.

The former Real Madrid coach said that Michu had earned the right to play for Spain after his excellent debut in the Premier League, but that Spain’s abundance of attacking midfielders like Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva kept him out.

“We recognize [Michu’s] work and goals, but we didn’t find space for him,” Del Bosque said. “There is a lot of competition in his position. It is impossible to make changes unless we leave out another who has already earned his spot on the team.”

Isco and Azpilicueta have yet to play for Spain.

“We could have experimented more since it is a friendly, but we have two tough games against Finland and France that will mark the future of our World Cup qualifying, so we have to consider this a preparation match against a tough rival,” Del Bosque said.

Spain play Uruguay in Doha on Wednesday in a warm-up for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland on March 22 and France three days later.

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol made the squad for the first time since missing last year’s European Championship because of injury. The game against Uruguay will be his 100th for Spain.

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