Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque has made a number of surprise inclusions in his preliminary 21-man squad for Euro 2012.
Included in the squad are Benat Etxebarria from Real Betis, Isco of Malaga and Javi Garcia of Benfica, however many of these players can expect to be dropped after players from Chelsea, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have played in their upcoming finals.
Del Bosque will name his final squad for the Euros on May 27.
“As you can see, we have included some players that have had a good season, and in the middle of the field we cannot just think of the immediate future of the European Championships, but we are thinking long term because in September we start the qualifying games to go to the World Cup,” Del Bosque said.
“We have to think we have a difficult group and we have to start to find other players in case we need them.”
Injury permitting, the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres can expect to be called into the squad by Del Bosque after they complete their club commitments.
Surprisingly Del Bosque has not ruled out Barcelona’s David Villa, who broke his leg at the Club World Cup in December and hasn’t played since.
“We know day by day the process where he is, the recovery process he is doing,” Del Bosque said. “We have said that it is a particular case and 27th of May we will take the last decision.
“As you can see there are not players of Chelsea, Bilbao and Barcelona because still are playing and this is the case of Villa.”
With Torres misfiring all season for Chelsea and Villa not playing since December, can Spain really go into a major tournament with these as two of their four or five striker options?
Spain’s Preliminary Squad:
Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Alvaro Dominguez (Atletico Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Nacho Monreal (Malaga)
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Benat (Betis), Javi Garcia (Benfica), Bruno (Villarreal)
Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Roberto Soldado (Valencia), Isco (Malaga), Adrian (Atletico Madrid)