Star trio back in Spain squad

12 November 2010 12:20
Fernando Torres, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas have returned to the Spain squad for next week's friendly with Portugal in Lisbon.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will treat Xavi with caution after naming the Barcelona midfielder in his squad.

The 30-year-old missed last month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Scotland with an Achilles tendon problem and has continued to struggle with the injury.

"Xavi, as always, has shown he is completely available for us," Del Bosque said on the Spanish Football Federation's.

"To doubt Xavi is not correct. We will try to play with what is appropriate in mind."

Liverpool striker Torres, Arsenal captain Fabregas and Barcelona forward Pedro have also returned to the 23-man party after missing the qualification double-header through injury.

But there was no place for Valencia duo Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Hernandez or Villarreal pair Borja Valero and Bruno Soriano.

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina and Manchester City's David Silva were the other two foreign-based players included.

Striker David Villa needs just one more goal to move ahead of Raul and become his country's outright record leading goalscorer. The Barcelona striker is currently level with the Schalke man on 44.

The world champions lead Group I with three wins out of three, scoring 10 goals in the process, while Portugal have lost one and drawn one of their four games and sit two points behind Group H leaders Norway having played a match more.

But Del Bosque still expects a strong challenge from their Iberian rivals, whom they knocked out in the last 16 of the World Cup in South Africa.

"It is a match between two countries who are brothers. The Portuguese have a wonderful squad with top players," he added.

Spain squad for the friendly against Portugal in Lisbon on November 17

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Jose Reina (Liverpool); Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Villarreal), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal); Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergi Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal); Pedro (Barcelona), David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia).

Source: Team_Talk

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17