Sevilla winger Jesus Navas has been included in Spain’s senior squad for the first time for the up and coming friendlies against Argentina and Austria.
Navas has long been considered one of Spanish football’s most promising players but he has yet to represent the senior national side, mainly due to his problems with anxiety and panic attacks when away from home for extended periods.
However, Navas has worked on coping with those issues and last week made himself available to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who included the pacey wideman in his 23-man squad for the friendly double-header.
Aside from the anticipated call-up of Navas, Del Bosque has largely kept faith with the same group of players that has served Spain so well over the last few years during the World Cup qualifiers.
Of the squad Del Bosque recently named for the final two World Cup qualifiers against Armenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Fernando Torres, Albert Riera, Santi Cazorla and Marcos Senna all miss out through injury.
Osasuna’s Nacho Monreal also drops out, but star striker David Villa is fit for inclusion along with Pablo Hernandez, Alvaro Arbeloa as well as Jesus Navas.
This weekend Torres travelled back to spain for a second opinion on his groin injury, but it is believed the Liverpool hitman does not want an operation on the problem.
It is also thought the 25-year-old wanted to play for Spain against Argentina on Saturday at his former home ground, Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, but Del Bosque has opted against calling up the prolific striker.
“We’ve spoken with Torres and (Rafael) Benitez and come to the conclusion that it’s best not to force him. I’m sure that he would’ve liked to be here, but these problems have made the decision,” Del Bosque said.
After facing Argentina this weekend, Spain travel to Vienna – the scene of their European Championship success in 2008 – to take on Austria the following Wednesday.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool), Diego Lopez (Villarreal).
Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Andoni Iraola (Athletic), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Forwards: Dani Guiza (Fenerbahce), Pablo Hernandez (Valencia), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), David Silva (Valencia), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), David Villa (Valencia)