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Spain names preliminary football squad for Euro


Madrid: Controversial Chelsea striker Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid’s in-form forward Fernando Torres and Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla were on Tuesday excluded from Spain’s preliminary list of 23 footballers for the Euro 2016 where they will aim for a hat-trick of titles.

Spain chief coach Vicente del Bosque named two debutants — Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez and Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez — but there is no place for Costa nor Cazorla or Torres, reports Xinhua.

Apart from the two debutants there are few surprises, with 35-year-old striker Aritz Aduriz, who finished the season with 36 goals in all competitions, named among the strikers.

Del Bosque explained his decision to leave Costa out by saying the striker had a physical problem and he didn’t want to take risks with half-fit players, as he did with Costa in the disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign, when Spain failed to qualify out of the group stage.

The squad starts work on May 23, but del Bosque won’t be able to work with all of his players until June 4, given that Atletico and Real play the Champions League final on May 28.

Meanwhile, players from Barcelona and Sevilla and other clubs abroad, who are playing in Cup finals on May 22 will not be available until May 28, just a day before the Spanish have a preparation game against Bosnia.

Del Bosque faced a similar problem two years ago when Atletico and Real again played in the Champions League final ahead of the 2014 World Cup and in order to cope with the absence of key players, he has also named a further 11, who will train with the squad and play in warm-up games.

Among those named are young Real Sociedad striker Mikel Oyarzabal, Arsenal’ s Hector Bellerin and Athletic Club Bilbao forward Inaki Williams.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David De Gea, Sergio Rico

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Juanfran, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta

Midfielders: Mikel San Jose, Bruno Soriano, Koke, Saul,Thiago, David Silva, Lucas Vázquez, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabrigas, Andres Iniesta, Isco

Forwards: Nolito, Pedro Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata, Aritz Aduriz

Standby players: Sergio Asenjo, Paul López, Hector Bellerín, Diego Llorente, Mere, Jonny, Pablo Fornals, Asensio, Denis Suárez, Inaki Williams, Mikel Oyarzabal.

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