Vicente del Bosque has defended the lack of new faces in his latest Spain squad, even if he admitted that next week’s friendly ‘was a chance to experiment’.
Del Bosque today announced his Roja squad to face Uruguay in Doha next week and only included Isco and Cesar Azpilicueta as new faces, despite pushes through the past few months for Michu, Iago Aspas, Ruben Castro and Aritz Aduriz to be given a chance.
“In this squad we are left with the bad taste of not being able to call up someone who is deserving. But those who are coming are deserving,” reflected Del Bosque to reporters today, explaining in particular Michu’s absence.
“I recognise his worth and his goals in the Premier League, but I could not find space this time. It’s the same with Iago Aspas.
“I am honest and do not hide anything. In the position that he plays, Michu is competing with five or six from our Seleccion. I do not hide anything.”
David Villa, though, is in the squad, despite struggling for playing time this season at Barcelona.
“Torres is one of our players with the most caps. But nor could be find space for him. Villa’s case is not comparable to anyone.
“The case of David, where he is not a starter with his team, is absolutely unique for his weight in La Seleccion and his scoring contribution.
“I am not preoccupied by his issue at Barca because these are the decisions of his Coach and I am not here to judge. Each time he has played he has performed well, but it is a very competitive team.
“But Villa is a singular case. No-one else has been injured for nine months, no-one else has scored five goals at the World Cup, nor has anyone contributed to our Seleccion.”
Isco is a new name in the midfield, just as Thiago Alcantara misses out.
“We have great quality of players in midfield. One only need look at the Under-21 list. Isco and Thiago are great players, but they are not the only ones.
“With this being a friendly it is true that we could have experimented more. But we have to take in preparation. We have a very serious opponent, who are Copa America holders and were fourth in the World Cup.”
The other new face is Cesar Azpilicueta, who comes in in place of Juanfran Torres. Juanfran’s mistake against France allowed for a last-minute equaliser in La Roja’s last competitive outing.
“We changed from Juanfran to Azpilicueta. Juanfran was coming off the back of an injury and has played twice, whilst Azpilicueta is playing every game at Chelsea.
“He is defending well, playing with a lot of energy and is an option in attack. We have hope placed on him.”
Raul Albiol didn’t make the cut.
“Raul is another player of ours and we are confident in him. But with Puyol, Pique and Ramos we believe that is enough for this game.
“Albiol has played well in recent games with his team and his Coach has celebrated that. For us he is an option. But it is impossible to list all the players who could potentially be here.”