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Madrid – Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has been included in Spain's squad for this month's World Cup soccer qualifiers against Finland and France, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Friday.
De Gea, 22, who has been called up before but has yet to make an appearance for the world and European champions, has been brought in as cover for injured captain Iker Casillas and will compete for the keeper's spot with Liverpool's Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes of Barcelona.
There was no place in the 24-man squad for misfiring striker Fernando Torres or Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez, although Torres's Chelsea teammate Cesar Azpilicueta, Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia and Malaga playmaker Isco were included.
“We are bringing the players who deserve to be here,” Del Bosque told a news conference at the Spanish football federation (RFEF) headquarters outside Madrid.
“It's our goal to continually inject new blood into the team,” he added.
Spain and France, who meet in Paris on March 26, are level on seven points at the top of Group I after three matches. Spain host winless Finland, who are bottom, in Gijon next Friday.
Goalkeepers: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Arsenal), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Xavi (Barcelona), Isco (Malaga), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Javi Garcia (Manchester City)
Forwards: David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Jesus Navas (Sevilla). – Reuters