Spain unveils Confederations Cup roster
Vicente del Bosque is hoping the same players that led Spain to glory a year ago can do the same this summer.
The Spanish coach on Monday named his 23-man squad for this month's FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, calling upon 17 players that helped the country win last summer's European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.
Star strikers David Villa of Valencia and Liverpool's Fernando Torres, and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas were named to the team, a clear indication that Spain is taking this tournament seriously.
"We have to enhance this competition which has been won by big teams," said Del Bosque. " All the teams taking part will be there with their best players so we will also go with our best team."
Del Bosque also included midfielder Andres Iniesta and defender Gerard Pique, even though Spanish and European club champions FC Barcelona warned the coach they were carrying injuries and that it would be best of they skipped the eight-team tournament in South Africa.
One notable absence is injured Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna, who was a key figure for Spain last summer, winning plaudits for his stellar defensive displays.
Spain opens the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in Group A on June 14. It will play Iraq three days later and hosts South Africa on June 20.
Group B consists of world champions Italy, Brazil, Egypt and the United States.
The top two teams from each group go through to the semifinals, with the final to be played in Johannesburg on June 28.
Spain enters the tournament riding a 31-game unbeaten run, a streak that dates back to November 2006, and as the No. 1 team in the FIFA world rankings.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Diego Lopez (Villarreal).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol and Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool).
Midfielders: Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Albert Riera and Xavi Alonso (Liverpool), David Silva and Juanma Mata (Valencia).
Forwards: Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbahce).