World Cup news

Mata, Torres dropped from Spain squad

August 30, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Chelsea trio Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta have all been left out of the Spain squad by coach Vicente Del Bosque for the World Cup 2014 qualifier in Finland on September 6 and the friendly against Chile in Geneva three days later.

Fernando Torres Juan Mata celeb Spain
GettyImagesJuan Mata and Fernando Torres were both left out Chelsea's starting line-up against Manchester United on Monday.

There are calls, however, for Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado, Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla, and Manchester City’s David Silva, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas.

As he announced the squad on Friday in Madrid, Del Bosque said that he had made his calls on current form and fitness, and nobody should try and dramatise the situation.

“We have a very deep squad, we cannot start to cry or make a drama about any name that does not come,” he said. “I am concerned about Finland and the three points. That is the biggest concern I have. We have back-up, we have to be happy with those who have come. There are some cases where players have played less. We are at the beginning of the season. Everyone has had a good pre-season and is in good condition.”

The former Real Madrid coach said that leaving out all three Chelsea players was unconnected with another ex-Blancos boss Jose Mourinho now being in charge at Stamford Bridge.

"It is a coincidence, nothing to do with the coach or his team,” Del Bosque said. “We have better options, in better form than them. Mata was our decision.”

Iker Casillas, currently out of favour under new coach Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid, has been included. But Barcelona’s Victor Valdes, who impressed during the 1-0 win against France in March, may get the nod to start in Helsinki.

“I have my idea on what we are going to do, but we have to see the physical level of each one,” Del Bosque said. “After the training sessions we will see how they are. We will put someone in, but it is not definitive.”

With midfield options Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez all injured, Real forward Isco and Atletico Madrid duo Mario Suarez and Koke -- who made his debut in August’s friendly in Ecuador -- have been included.

"We are happy with Koke, he brings great energy and is coming up from below, bringing things that revitalise us,” Del Bosque said. “In the case of Mario Suarez his team is in a good state, and he fills for us the position of a central midfielder. We have not chosen just to choose.”

Gerard Pique is suspended for next Friday’s qualifier due to the red card he picked up in June’s Confederations Cup final defeat to Brazil, so either Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez or Raul Albiol of Napoli will likely partner Sergio Ramos in central defence

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Victor Valdes (Barca).

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Mario Suarez, Koke (Atletico Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Jesus Navas, David Silva (Manchester City), Isco (Real Madrid).

Forwards: Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Roberto Soldado (Tottenham), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), David Villa (Atletico Madrid).

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