Spain announce squad
Villarreal keeper Diego Lopez has earned his first call up to the Spanish national team.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 27/10/09 5:04pm
Villarreal keeper Diego Lopez has earned his first call up to the Spanish national team, while Raul has once again been excluded from the squad ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Lopez comes in as third choice keeper behind Iker Casillas and Jose Reina for the home and away ties with Turkey, after impressing national team coach Vicente del Bosque.
"I valued the way both Palop and Valdes are playing, but I was inclined to choose Diego Lopez," said Del Bosque of his decision to call up the 27-year-old former Real Madrid man.
"It was important to bring in a third goalkeeper to cover because of such a long time together."
Though Lopez stands a slim chance of earning his first cap during the qualifiers, one man who looks to have played his last game for Spain is Real Madrid captain Raul who has now gone two-and-a-half years without an international call-up.
Del Bosque had suggested that Raul could come back into the fold for 'la seleccion', but the veteran boss has instead chosen to bring in Dani Guiza - despite the Fenerbahce striker having seen little action in recent months.
"I have always had my doubts about Raul. I am not a radical," remarked Del Bosque.
"Negredo and Joseba Llorente also had a chance, but with Guiza, one must value the human side too as well as the fact that we are talking about a super professional.
"He had an injury and has not been starting for his team, but he is having few minutes and is vying for a place with Turkey international Semih Senturk.
"He is important for us and he helps us a lot. In the last game against Belgium he set up both goals for David Villa."
Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol is also a notable exclusion from the squad, although Del Bosque insists that his omission in favour of team-mate Gerard Pique is motivated purely by injury worries.
Del Bosque added: "We spoke with his coach and with him and the player said he would not play this Sunday and would be doubtful for the next one because he is not fit.
"Because of that I preferred not to call him up."
Spain squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Reina (Liverpool), Diego Lopez (Villarreal)
Defenders: Raul Albiol (Valencia), Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Juanito (Real Betis), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Sergi Busquets (Barcelona), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Marcos Senna (Villarreal), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Albert Riera (Liverpool), David Silva (Valencia)
Strikers: Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbahce), David Villa (Valencia), Fernando Llorente (Athletic de Bilbao)