World Cup 2014: Fernando Torres makes the cut, but Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo are dropped from Spain World Cup squad

The Chelsea striker is included alongside injury concern Diego Costa

Diego Costa and Fernando Torres have been included in Spain’s final squad for the World Cup, but the Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo and winger Jesus Navas were left out of Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man party for Brazil.

Costa was an injury doubt with a hamstring tear after lasting less than 10 minutes for Atlético Madrid in the Champions League final last Saturday and still faces a race against time to be fit for Spain’s first game against the Netherlands on 13 June. But the Brazil-born Spanish national is  expected to start ahead of both Torres and David Villa.

While Costa’s inclusion was hardly shocking, Del Bosque’s decision to base Spain’s attack around a forward who has been nagged by a hamstring problem over the final two months of the season is surprising considering the options at his disposal. Negredo enjoyed a flying start to his City career last season but tailed off towards the end of the campaign. However, the Juventus striker Fernando Llorente enjoyed a strong debut season in Serie A with 16 goals. While Llorente was in the Spain team that won the World Cup four years ago and the European Championship in 2012, the Basque striker played just 31 minutes over those two tournaments. Villa, the country’s all-time leading scorer, can play up front or in midfield, while Cesc Fàbregas is expected to reprise his role as an unorthodox striker when needed.


Navas’ long spell on the sidelines has cost him his place despite having recovered from an ankle injury. “Navas is better, in nearly perfect condition but, after two months without any training, we’d like to bring someone who is in better shape,” said Del Bosque.

Torres – who scored only five Premier League goals for Chelsea last season – and Andres Iniesta were on target as Spain beat Bolivia 2-0 in Seville on Friday in the first of two friendlies ahead of their World Cup defence.

Torres calmly stroked home a 51st-minute penalty after Javi Martinez was fouled in the area. Spain controlled play but found it hard to break down a well-organised Bolivia team before Iniesta finally charged forward in the 84th minute to seal victory.

Del Bosque employed an experimental team, trying out different combinations, with key Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid players still missing following the Champions League final last week.

Despite his goal, Torres made little impact in his first appearance for Spain since the Confederations Cup final defeat to Brazil last July. “I have a lot of confidence in Fernando Torres,” Del Bosque insisted. “We’re happy with his work.”

While Juan Mata and Pedro Rodriguez had opportunities to score, it wasn’t until the second-half entrances of Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and David Silva that Spain looked more likely to find the net, with Fabregas also coming on to reprise his role as an unorthodox striker. “We had an encouraging week of training and today was a positive day,” said Iniesta.

Sixteen of the 23 squad players who lifted the World Cup four years ago return. Captain Iker Casillas will start in goal ahead of Pepe Reina and David De Gea, while the versatile Martinez can step in for either Sergio Ramos or Gerard Piqué at centre-back. César Azpilicueta’s strong performance against Bolivia should cement the Chelsea full-back’s place on the right side with Jordi Alba on the left. Fellow full-back Dani Carvajal was omitted despite a strong season for European champion Real Madrid.

Busquets and Xabi Alonso provide midfield cover behind Iniesta, Xavi, Silva and Santi Cazorla, while Koke could enjoy playing time, too, after an outstanding season that saw the Atlético playmaker help lead his team to the Champions League final.

Spain, the reigning champions, are looking to win an unprecedented four straight major championships, having also won the 2008 and 2012 European titles.

They begin their Group B campaign against Holland on 13 June. First they travel to the United States today and then play El Salvador in Washington on 7 June.

Spain squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United)

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

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Pedro (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea).

Suggested Topics
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam