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Few surprises in Spain's 30-man World Cup squad

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 6:56 am •  Published: May 13, 2014
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MADRID (AP) — Spain's preliminary 30-player squad for the World Cup included most of the key players that helped the country win its last three major tournaments, with Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa the highest-profile newcomer.

The defending champions sent their preliminary list to FIFA on Tuesday, with coach Vicente del Bosque to announce the final 23-man squad on May 25.

Costa is set to lead the attack in his native Brazil, with Atletico Madrid teammate David Villa and Chelsea's Fernando Torres also included, while David de Gea replaces injured goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Fullback Alvaro Arbeloa, who has been part of Spain's two European Championship triumphs and its World Cup win in South Africa, was left out despite returning from a long-term injury. Real Madrid teammate Dani Carvajal fills his spot.

In all, 18 of the 23 players who were in South Africa were included in the preliminary squad.

Spain begins Group B play against the Netherlands on June 13 in Salvador in a rematch of the 2010 final which it won 1-0 after extra time.

Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo is also included, although Del Bosque could again opt to use Cesc Fabregas as a "false" striker up front. Villa is Spain's all-time leading goalscorer and Torres scored in the finals of its Euro 2008 and '12 victories, but at least one of them is likely to be dropped from the final squad.

Del Bosque also called on Spain regulars Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla, with creative Madrid midfielder Isco left out. Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe was a surprise inclusion.

Andres Iniesta, who scored the winner in the final at Soccer City four years ago, is in midfield alongside Xavi Hernandez, David Silva, Koke, and Thiago Alcantara, who was included despite missing the end of Bayern Munich's season because of an injury.

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