Isco and Azpilicueta to play for Spain in friendly

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 7:39 am •  Published: February 1, 2013
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MADRID (AP) — Fernando Torres was left off the Spain squad Friday for the team's upcoming friendly with Uruguay.

Last year, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque dropped the Chelsea striker for friendlies against Venezuela and Panama. Torres has made the squad for all three of Spain's World Cup qualifiers, but has only played in one, coming on late against France before the French equalized for a draw.

Del Bosque called up Malaga forward Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in the only mild surprises for a squad filled with regular faces for its.

Del Bosque did not include Swansea forward Miguel "Michu" Perez or promising Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas despite speculation they would get their first call ups.

The former Real Madrid coach said that Michu had earned the right to play for Spain after his excellent debut in the Premier League, but that Spain's abundance of attacking midfielders like Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva kept him out.

"We recognize (Michu's) work and goals but we didn't find space for him," Del Bosque said. "There is a lot of competition at his position. It is impossible to make changes unless we leave out another who has already earned his spot on the team."

Isco and Azpilicueta have made Del Bosque's list before, but they have yet to play for Spain.

"We could have experimented more since it is a friendly, but we have two tough games against Finland and France that will mark the future of our World Cup qualifying, so we have to consider this a preparation match against a tough rival," Del Bosque said.

Spain plays Uruguay in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday in a warm-up for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland on March 22 and France three days later.

Spain will play Uruguay again in the group phase of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.