the latest lists: Czech Republic, Scotland & Croatia
Lists updated, see below.
Vicente del Bosque announced this morning the list of players called up for Spain’s last two Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic in Prague on Oct. 7 and Scotland in Alicante (Valencia) on Oct. 11. There is only one new player with respect to the last several lists, Valencia defender Jordi Alba, who received his first ever call-up. Jordi had previously played for the U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams.
And Carles Puyol is making his return; his last game with the national team was almost a year ago, on Nov. 17, the game that can be called the Portuguese disaster. Puyol and Álvaro Negredo both have slight injuries, and so they will be monitored, but in principle they will be there with the team. Meanwhile, Andrés Iniesta is out after getting injured during a Champions League game with his club several weeks ago.
Goalkeepers: Iker, Pepe, Valdés.
Defenders: Puyol, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Albiol, Jordi Alba.
Midfielders: Xabi, Busquets, Cazorla, Thiago, Xavi,
Cesc, Javi Martínez, Silva, Mata.
Forwards: Villa, Llorente, Torres, Negredo, Pedro.
Update: VDB said on Sunday that he won’t call anyone up to replace Cesc, who got injured on Saturday. We’ll see what happens with Javi (!!!)…
The players are due at Las Rozas on Oct. 5 at 10:30h. They will leave for Prague on Oct. 6 at 10h in the morning, and stay at the Hotel Prague Marriott once they are in the Czech capital. They’ll return to Madrid on the day after the game, Oct. 8. On Oct. 9, the team will head to Alicante in the late afternoon, and stay at the Hotel Melía Alicante, returning to Madrid right after the game on Oct. 11.
In the press conference following the announcement of the list, VDB said that Jordi Alba was called up because he’s playing well with a powerful club in Spain, and they want to study him more up close to see if he’ll fit in during the run-up to the 2012 Euro. He described Jordi as “a player that associates well, with good techniques, he defends correctly… he has experience in the position, he’s young and he’s played for the U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams. We have confidence in him.” The coach also said it was good news for the team that Carles Puyol is making his return.
Regarding David Silva’s statements that he felt that VDB didn’t have any confidence in him, the coach responded, “after reflecting on it, I believe it’s a relic from the past World Cup, there are many players that could have the same complaint and it’s not a lack of confidence towards anyone. He’s played a lot since then. There are other players that often come, such as Cesc or Cazorla, who have not said anything about this problem.” VDB also added, “sometimes the entourage of a player harms him… I think one has to be better advised to make certain statements.”
Despite Spain already qualifying for the World Cup, VDB called up many of the world champions as “the respect towards the rivals is one of the reasons,” and both the Czech Republic and Scotland have qualification at stake. He also said he was surprised by the news that he was considering calling up Diego Perotti, the Argentine winger who plays for Sevilla, as “I haven’t spoken with anyone, not even Toni Grande, about this issue.”
In response to his call-up, Jordi Alba said in a press conference that VDB had not made a mistake in including him on the list. He also revealed how he heard the news: “I was showering and everyone came to congratulate me. My teammates have helped me a lot, I am playing in a position that wasn’t mine, and thanks to them and the coaching staff, here I am.” He also said that he’s had many “happy days” throughout his career, “but this is one of the most special days,” and that being with the national team is “the maximum for a footballer.” Jordi also said that he had spoken with David Villa, who had congratulated him, and that knowing Villa, PF Juan Mata and David Silva will make his integration easier. And Sergio Canales has already tweeted his joy for Jordi, and a photo, as has PF Juan Mata!
Meanwhile, Luis Milla also revealed the list of players called up for the U-21 team’s Euro 2013 qualifier against Croatia on Oct. 6 in Osijek. There aren’t many changes with respect to the previous ones, and Martín Montoya has returned to the team after being called up by VDB during the last two games.
Goalkeepers: Joel Robles, David de Gea, Diego Mariño.
Marc Bartra, Martín Montoya, Carles Planas, Hugo Mallo, Jordi Amat, Iñigo Martínez, Álvaro González.
Midfielders: Koke Resurrección,
Sergi Roberto, Oriol Romeu, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Sergio Canales, Juan Carlos Pérez, Dani Pacheco.
Forwards: Iker Muniain, Rodrigo, Álvaro Vázquez.
Update: Marc Bartra and Sergi Roberto have dropped out due to injury, so they’ll be replaced by Álvaro González and Dani Pacheco, respectively.
These players are due at the Hotel Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto in Madrd on Oct. 3 at 13h. On the afternoon of Oct. 4, they’ll fly to Osijek, Croatia, where they’ll stay at the Hotel Osijek and play the Euro qualifier on Oct. 6 at 20:30h. The team will return to Madrid right after the game, arriving there at 03h on Oct. 7.