Spain announce squad for Canada

Spain U-20 coach Gines Melendez has named his 21-man squad ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007. The Spanish will travel to Canada later this month determined to vie for the world title currently held by Argentina.

La Selección qualified for Canada 2007 by virtue of winning the UEFA European U-19 Championship in July 2006. The squad set to compete for the upcoming world title is largely based on the one that took the continental honours on Polish soil last year, with 14 of the 21 having played together in that tournament.

One of the team's strengths is their competitiveness, not surprising when you consider many of their players are regulars with their clubs in the Spanish first and second divisions. In this category are defenders Gerard Pique, a solid presence at the back for Real Zaragoza, where he is on loan from Manchester United, and Antonio Barragan, impressive this year in the colours of Deportivo la Coruna.

Strikers Alberto Bueno and Juan Manuel Mata of Real Madrid Castilla (the club's B team) remain Melendez's first-choice front men - no surprise given the good understanding the pair have shown together with their national and club sides. One interesting inclusion on the list is that of Adrian Gonzalez, a promising midfielder from the Madrid youth academy. The player's father, Michel, is none other than the famous Merengue winger of the 80s and 90s, who played for Spain at the 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups™.

The squad will spend from 18 to 24 June at their training camp in Madrid, before heading to Burnaby, Canada, where they will be based for their three Group B games against Uruguay, Zambia and Jordan.

At the last edition of the tournament in 2005, Spain were eliminated in the quarter-finals by a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina side that went on to lift the title.

The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Antonio Adan Garrido (Real Madrid), Javier Martinez Gonzalez (Albacete Balompie), Angel Bernabe Acosta (Atletico de Madrid)

Defenders: Antonio Barragan Fernandez (Deportivo de la Coruna) Gerard Pique Bernabeu (Real Zaragoza) Marc Valiente Hernandez (FC Barcelona) Jose Angel Crespo Rincon (Sevilla FC) Roberto Canella Suarez (Real Sporting de Gijon), Gorka Elustondo Urkola (Real Sociedad)

Midfielders: Esteban Granero Garcia, Javier Garcia Fernandez and Adrian Gonzalez Morales (Real Madrid) Marcos Garcia Barreno (Villarreal) Antonio Calvo Arandes (FC Barcelona) Diego Capel Trinidad (Sevilla FC) Sunday Stephen Obayan "Sunny" (CP Ejido), Iriome Gonzalez Gonzalez (CD Tenerife), Mario Suarez Mata (Real Valladolid)

Forwards: Alberto Bueno Calvo and Juan Manuel Mata Garcia (Real Madrid) Adrian Lopez Alvarez (Deportivo la Coruna)