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David Villa back for Spain World Cup qualifiers


Madrid (AFP) – Veteran strker David Villa is set for an international recall after being named Friday in Spain’s squad for key 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Villa, aged 35, is Spain’s all-time top scorer with 59 goals from 97 international games. He last played for his country in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Villa, who won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2011, plays for New York City and is top scorer in the MLS with 19 goals from 24 games this season.

He has been recalled to the squad to play Italy and Liechtenstein on September 2 and 5 respectively.

“It is necessary that he rejoins us and he will help us,” said manager Julen Lopetegui.

Part of Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning team, Villa last represented his country in a 3-0 win against Australia in the 2014 edition.

The ex-Valencia player left Barcelona for the United States in 2015 and was the MLS MVP last season.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Pepe Reina (Napoli/ITA), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao/ESP)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid/ESP), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/ESP), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid/ESP), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona/ESP), Jordi Alba  (Barcelona/ESP), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal/ENG)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona/ESP), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona/ESP), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich/GER), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid/ESP), Isco (Real Madrid/ESP), Vitolo (Las Palmas/ESP), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona/ESP), David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Suso Fernandez (AC Milan/ITA)

Forwards: Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea/ENG), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea/ENG), Iago Aspas (Celta/ESP), David Villa (New York City/USA)

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