Del Moral handed call-up
New Sevilla signing gets Spain chance
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: May 25, 2011 10:12pm
Manu del Moral has been called up to the Spain squad for the first time ahead of their friendly clashes with United States and Venezuela.
The 27-year-old forward has only just completed a move to Sevilla from Getafe and now he has been handed a shock call-up.
Del Moral is one of two uncapped players in Vicente Del Bosque's squad, along with Villarreal's former West Brom man Borja Valero.
"He is in good physical shape, can play on both wings, has quality and is fresh," Del Bosque said of Del Moral.
"Manu has been working well these past few years."
The player himself was delighted to be called up, adding: "For me it's been a great satisfaction, the happiest day of my life.
"With this call-up I've fulfilled a dream and I have to thank the national team coach Vicente del Bosque for that."
Aside from selecting Manu, Del Bosque also recalled the Sevilla forward's new club-mate Alvaro Negredo, who was the leading Spanish scorer in this season's Primera Division season with 20 goals.
Villarreal midfielders Valero and Bruno Soriano were also brought back into a strong 23-man squad which includes many of the players that helped Spain win the World Cup in South Africa last year.
However, there was no place for in-form Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, who struck 12 goals in his last nine appearances this season.
Del Bosque also included Fernando Torres even though the Chelsea striker has struggled badly for goals since his £50million move from Liverpool in January.
"He is a stable player inside this group, we are at the end of the season, we didn't want to open any debate and we want the majority of the team that were in the World Cup in South Africa," said Del Bosque of Torres.
Among those missing for the trip are Barcelona pair Carles Puyol and Xavi, as well as Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas and Sevilla winger Jesus Navas, who were both sidelined with injuries towards the end of their respective league campaigns, and Mata and Javi Martinez, who are set for Under-21 duty.
Del Bosque explained the decision to rest Puyol and Xavi, who have both suffered with injuries this season but are set to play for Barca in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United.
"In the case of Xavi and Puyol they will make a great effort in the Champions League final. Puyol has been suffering a lot with his problem. I've spoken with Xavi personally and he's had a very long season, therefore we decided not to bring him," he said.
Although Puyol and Xavi are both absent, Del Bosque's travelling party still includes 11 players from Barca and Real Madrid.
This is the first Spain squad since the ill-tempered Champions League semi-final clashes between the two clubs.
The reigning world and European champions take on the United States on June 4 in Boston, and then Venezeula in Puerto La Cruz three days later.
Squad in full:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Villarreal), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Bruno Soriano (Villarreal), Borja Valero (Villarreal), David Silva (Manchester City), David Villa (Barcelona), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Manu Del Moral (Sevilla), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla).