Euro 2012 news

Pedro named in final Spain squad

Roberto Soldado amd Adrian Lopez omitted from Vicente Del Bosque's 23.

ESPN staff

Pedro scored twice for Barcelona in Friday's Copa del Rey final.

Barcelona forward Pedro has been named in Spain's final 23-man squad for the European Championship, but there was no place for Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez or Valencia's Roberto Soldado.


Pedro, 24, has had an incosistent season but finished it with a flourish by scoring two goals in Barca's Copa del Rey victory over Athletic Bilbao on Friday and was rewarded with a place on the plane to Poland and Ukraine.


The La Masia graduate's inclusion meant that Adrian, who scored in Spain's friendly victory over Serbia on Saturday, and Soldado, who scored 27 goals for Los Che in 2011-12, were both omitted from the final squad.


Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente and Fernando Torres are Vicente del Bosque's other three forwards alongside Pedro, with the Spain coach happy to explain the reasons behind his inclusions and exclusions.


"All those that have been with us can feel a little hurt,"  Del Bosque told Marca. "We have taken them and left them, but in August there are new squads. They need to be aware that they are very close to the national team. The seven that have been left out are a little upset, but they are good sportsmen. It was unthinkable that someone would debut and then come with us.


"We always had Pedro in mind. He has had an irregular season like many others, but we valued his trajectory over the medium term and for this reason we have taken him. We need wide players that are efficient and can complement the bench.


"I didn't have the Olympics in mind when it came to Adrian. Mata and Javi Martinez will be in the same position. We have preferred other options, but we recognise that he has been brilliant in these days with us. He has done everything very well.

Negredo and Soldado are two extraordinary and distinct players. One is quicker but the other offers more to the play of the team.''


Del Bosque also reflected on how the squad had evolved since winning the World Cup in South Africa two years ago, but again lamented the absence of David Villa and Carles Puyol through injury.


"Villa is irreplaceable, for his characteristics and effectiveness no one can do better than him,'' he said. "We feel the same with Puyol, who is also a fundamental miss for us.


"We have come four years since the last Euros and there has been a 50% change in what was a relatively young squad. There were seven changes before South Africa and three since.


"It is a ratification of the fact we are building usefully. Groups have to go and be filled with new people but we have a plenitude of players and I don't expect such a generation to last. However, we cannot have any doubt in these players.''


Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas was also included, despite concerns about a hamsring injury, though Thiago Alcantara and Andoni Iraola will not play at the Euros because of fitness concerns.


"In the case of Cesc the doctors are optimistic." Del Bosque added. "We didn't believe there was any chance of not naming him.


"Thiago Alcantara has a problem of certain importance that also puts his participation in the Olympics in doubt and in the case of Iraola, he has all our appreciation but it seems he has been playing with a great desire and is not physically right.''


Spain squad:


Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool);


Defenders: Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos (all Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao);


Midfielders: Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas (all Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Mata (Chelsea);


Forwards: Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona)

 

© ESPN

To comment, you must be a registered user. Please Sign In or Register