Vicente del Bosque has pulled a few surprises out of the hat in naming Spain’s squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
For the games at home to Finland on March 22 and away to France on March 26, Del Bosque has omitted the likes of Carles Puyol, Fernando Torres and Javi Martinez.
The uncapped David de Gea has been selected as the squad’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina, in Iker Casillas’ absence through injury.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Negredo has edged Chelsea’s Torres and Roberto Soldado out of a place in attack, where he is supported by Sevilla teammate Jesus Navas.
Isco is given a second consecutive call-up to La Roja, as is Cesar Azpilicueta, who successfully keeps Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran Torres out of contention.
Manchester City’s Javi Garcia returns to the squad, after making his debut last summer, whilst there is no space for Bayern Munich’s Martinez or Real Betis’ Benat Etxebarria, who were both speculated as in consideration.
Xavi Hernandez is included despite doubts over his fitness with a thigh injury, whilst notably teammate Puyol, who reached 100 caps last month against Uruguay, does not make the cut.
Spain squad to face Finland and France
Goalkeepers: Victor Valdés (F.C. Barcelona), José Manuel Reina (Liverpool F.C. ), David de Gea (Manchester United)
Defenders: Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid C.F.), Raúl Albiol (Real Madrid C.F.), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid C.F.), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC), Gerard Piqué (F.C. Barcelona), Ignacio Monreal (Arsenal FC), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
Midfielders: Xabier Alonso (Real Madrid C.F.), Xavier Hernández (FC Barcelona), Andrés Iniesta (F.C. Barcelona), Cesc Fábregas (FC Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (F.C. Barcelona), Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal FC), Javier García (Manchester City FC), Francisco Alarcón Suárez "Isco" (Málaga FC)
Forwards: David Villa (F.C. Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City F.C.), Pedro Rodríguez (F.C. Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea CF), Álvaro Negredo (Sevilla FC), Jesús Navas (Sevilla FC)