David Villa rules himself out of Euro 2012
Spain have included Chelsea’s Champions League winners Mata and Torres in their latest squad while David Villa, Golden Boot winner in 2008 misses out.
Vicent del Bosque’s Spanish squad for Euro 2012 came closer to completion today after the Chelsea contingent were called up to the Spain camp. Fernando Torres made headlines over the weekend after appearing to criticise his manager for a lack of game time and Chelsea’s style of play, and after a low-key season will be delighted just to have made it into the squad.
The big news concerning the Spain squad is the confirmed absence of David Villa and the likely absence of Carlos Puyol, two key members of the Spain team that won the last two international tournaments on offer.
Spain will have a dilemma in replacing their all-time leading goal-scorer, with Fernando Torres not guaranteed his place up front. Fernando Llorente had a fantastic season and Roberto Soldado was as reliable as ever for Valencia, with Iker Munian also staking a claim.
Players from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are yet to be announced until after their King’s Cup game which is set to take place this Friday, with a large contingent expected to come from the Catalans.
Barcelona provided seven of the starters in the 2010 World Cup final and a similar haul are likely to make it to Euro 2012, although Puyol and Villa look set to miss out. After impressing on the way to the Europa League final, Bilbao have a number of young players in contention for the 23 man squad. Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente look assured of a place in Poland and Ukraine and the 19-year-old Iker Munian could be a surprise inclusion in the squad with just one cap to his name.
Del Bosque will have just two days from the Copa del Rey final to select his squad of 23, with the late timing of the domestic final hampering his selection plans.
An English contingent of Pepe Reina, David De Gea, David Silva and now Mata and Torres has made it to the preliminary squad, with Jose Enrique of Liverpool missing out.
Despite these injury concerns Spain remain favourites for Euro 2012. The Spainsh remain the team to beat and are priced at 5/2 with Sportingbet to defend their European Championship.