CHELSEA STRIKER FERNANDO Torres has been left out of the Spain squad to take on Venezuela in next week’s friendly in Malaga.
The former Liverpool star, who has only scored five goals in a Chelsea shirt in over a year, has been dropped in favour of Athletic Bilbao youngster Iker Muniain and Valencia hitman Roberto Soldado.
“Torres isn’t doing well, and we’ve decided that in this case he won’t come,” said Spain manager Vicente del Bosque.
“It hurts me to leave out Fernando Torres, but I cannot be unfair and hold back those who have been pushing to get in.”
While del Bosque said that the squad he has chosen forms a base for this summer’s European Championships, where Spain will defend the trophy they won in 2008, he says it is not definitive.
Other surprise exclusions include Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez and Rauk Albiol of Real Madrid.
Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid); Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Valencia); Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Jesus Navas (Sevilla); Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Roberto Soldado (Valencia).