Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has announced his 22-man squad for the friendly match against Italy on the 5th of March in the Vicente Calderón stadium.
The biggest change on the team-sheet is the inclusion of Club Atlético de Madrid player Diego Costa, whose excellent season with the rojiblancos has now been recognised by the national manager. "Diego Costa is in because of his performances with Atlético. We decided that he could help us improve", stated Del Bosque.
Fernando Torres, David Villa, Álvaro Arbeloa and the injured Gerard Piqué are the most notable absences from the list. In addition, Del Bosque continues to give chances to the future stars who won the UEFA European Under-21 Championship last June in Israel, calling up Thiago Alcántara, who is having a brilliant season with FC Bayern München. Defender César Azpilicueta, who is producing the goods at Chelsea FC, will also be pulling on a Spanish shirt again.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF), Pepe Reina (SSC Napoli) and Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona).
Defenders: Juanfran Torres (Club Atlético de Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF), Javi Martínez (FC Bayern München), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC) and Raúl Albiol (SSC Napoli).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid CF), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Jorge Resurrección 'Koke' (Club Atlético de Madrid), Jesús Navas (Manchester City FC), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona), Cesc Fàbregas (FC Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Thiago Alcántara (FC Bayern München), David Silva (Manchester City FC) and Santi Cazorla (Arsenal FC).
Forwards: Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City FC), Pedro Rodríguez (FC Barcelona) and Diego Costa (Club Atlético de Madrid).