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Mata's World Cup hopes in doubt after Spain omission

ESPN staff
February 28, 2014 « Great Britain's women clinch team pursuit gold | Chartbeat test »
No Mata or Torres for Spain squad

Juan Mata has been left out of Spain's squad for their friendly against Italy next Wednesday, which has cast doubt on his participation at this year's World Cup.

Manchester United's club record signing, who joined from Chelsea for £37.1 million during the January transfer window, misses out alongside Chelsea's Fernando Torres, and it appears that Spain coach Vicente del Bosque may have finalised his team ahead of their World Cup defence in Rio in the summer.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara have been included in the squad, but Fernando Llorente, David Villa and Alvaro Arbeloa are also among the big names left out of Spain's final friendly outing before Del Bosque names his 23-man team for the World Cup.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta is rewarded for excellent club form with a call-up, and Manchester City trio Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and David Silva and Arsenal's Santi Cazorla have retained their squad places.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

Defenders: Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Raul Albiol (Napoli).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta & Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Barca), Jesus Navas & David Silva (Man City), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal).

Attackers: Diego Costa (Atletico), Alvaro Negredo (Man City), Pedro Rodriguez (Barca).

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