Pernia, Ibanez, Juanito get Spain recall

August 17, 2007

MADRID, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Defenders Mariano Pernia, Pablo Ibanez and Juanito have been recalled to the Spain squad for next week's friendly international against Greece.

The trio will help cover for Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, Sevilla's Javi Navarro and Villarreal's Joan Capdevila who are all out injured.

Argentine-born Pernia made his debut for Spain just before the 2006 World Cup but has not played since a Euro 2008 qualifier against Liechtenstein in September last year.

The Atletico Madrid player has been given the nod over club colleague Antonio Lopez at left back, while another Atletico player, Pablo, returns in the centre of defence where he could be partnered by Juanito.

'Pernia has been in good form for Atletico in pre-season and we always try to select the players that are in the best form,' Aragones told a news conference on Friday.

Real Madrid striker Roberto Soldado and fullback Angel, who plays for relegated Celta Vigo, have been left out after being included in the squad for last June's qualifiers against Latvia and Liechtenstein.

Once again Valencia provide the core of the squad with six players, including striker David Villa, while Liverpool make the second-biggest contribution with three players, including their new recruit Fernando Torres.

The Greece game will give Aragones a chance to get his squad together before next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers away to Iceland and at home to Latvia.

After a shaky start to qualification for Euro 2008, Spain have moved up to second place in Group F, three points behind leaders Sweden and two ahead of Northern Ireland, who have played one game fewer.

Squad:

Goalkeepers - Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

Defenders - Mariano Pernia (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanito (Real Betis)

Midfielders - Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Miguel Angel Angulo (Valencia), David Silva (Valencia), David Albelda (Valencia), Joaquin (Valencia)

Forwards - David Villa (Valencia), Fernando Torres