BARCELONA: Uncapped Dani Carvajal and Ander Iturraspe were named in Spain’s provisional World Cup squad yesterday.
Coach Vicente del Bosque opted for plenty of youth in his 30-man list which will be whittled down to 23 players who will be bidding in Brazil to retain the trophy they lifted four years ago in South Africa.
Spain have been the dominant force in the international game in recent years having also won back-to-back European Championships and there is a good balance of promise and experience in the squad.
Carvajal has made rapid progress this season at Real Madrid having taken the regular right-back slot from Alvaro Arbeloa, who was one of the surprise omissions from the squad.
Iturraspe has been a crucial cog in the Athletic Bilbao team which has qualified for the Champions League with his slick passing from deep in midfield.
However, the strong competition in the middle of the pitch means that he may well be one of the seven to miss out on the final cut.
Veteran striker David Villa has failed to shine for Atletico Madrid this season but he has been included for his experience.
Gabi and Raul Garcia, who both have played important roles in Atletico’s success this season, will be disappointed not to have made the list.
There is most doubt over who will play in the forward positions in Brazil and Del Bosque has not given any clues as he has included all the likely contenders.
Fernando Torres, Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Negredo and Pedro are all in the squad as is Brazilian-born Diego Costa following his prolific form with Atletico.
There is also a possibility that Cesc Fabregas could play in attack as more of a link-up player, a position he has played regularly for Barcelona and in several games at Euro 2012.
Spain are in Group B along with the Netherlands, Chile and Australia.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United)
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid) Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Fernando Llorente (Juventus).Reuters