Las Rozas de Madrid (Spain) (AFP) – Chelsea striker Diego Costa was left out of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque’s provisional 25-man squad for Euro 2016 on Tuesday.
The nationalised Brazilian missed Chelsea’s last two games of the season due to a persistent hamstring injury and has struggled at international level with just one goal in 10 games since declaring to play for Spain in 2013.
“We didn’t want to bring too many players with a certain doubt over their physical condition,” Del Bosque said of Costa’s omission from the two-time defending champions’ squad.
World Cup winners Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Javi Martinez were also high-profile names left out by Del Bosque.
The absence of Costa and the in-form Torres means Del Bosque has only two central strikers to choose from in 35-year-old Aritz Aduriz and Juventus’ Alvaro Morata.
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla was also excluded having just returned from a long-term knee injury.
The uncapped Saul Niguez and Lucas Vazquez of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid respectively have made the 25.
Meanwhile, Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano was surprisingly included amongst 10 midfielders.
Del Bosque also named 11 promising younger players to bulk up his squad for the friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Korea on May 29 and June 1 respectively with Real and Atletico players set to take part in the Champions League final on May 28.
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto/POR), David De Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Sergio Rico (Sevilla)
Defenders: Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra (all Barcelona), Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (both Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao), Koke, Saul Niguez (both Atletico Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea/ENG), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich/GER), Isco (Real Madrid), Bruno Soriano (Villarreal)
Forwards: Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea/ENG), Alvaro Morata (Juventus/ITA), Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)
Back-up players (final squad to be announced by May 31):
Sergio Asenjo, Denis Suarez (Villarreal), Pau Lopez (Espanyol), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal/ENG), Diego Llorente (Rayo Vallecano), Jorge Mere (Sporting Gijon), Jonathan Castro (Celta Vigo), Pablo Fornals (Malaga), Marco Asensio (Espanyol), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)
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