MADRID: Spain, who won the World Cup four years with a ‘false No9’ have included two specialist centre-forwards for their defence in Brazil.
Both Atletico de Madrid’s Diego Costa and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres have been included in Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man squad for World Cup 2014 to the exclusion of Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo and Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado.
The latter led Spain’s attack last year at the Confederations Cup when they fell 3-0 to Brazil in the final in Maracana.
Costa, a naturalised former Brazil international, was an injury doubt with a hamstring tear after lasting less than 10 minutes for Atletico in last weekend’s Champions League defeat by neighbours Real. He still may not be ready for Spain’s first game in their 2010 World Cup Final repeat against Holland on June 13.
Torres has endured a difficult at Chelsea but played well and converted a penalty in a 2-0 warm-up victory over Bolivia on Friday.
Other absentees – along with Negredo and Soldado – included Manchester City winger Jesus Navas as well as Fernando Llorente (Juventus), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Moreno (Sevilla) and Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).
Barcelona have seven players in the squad, European champions Real Madrid and Spanish champions Atletico three each.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City)
Pedro (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea).