Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has recalled Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas to his squad for their opening 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers with Bosnia and Armenia. There was, however, no place for Real Madrid's Raul, the leading all-time scorer for the national team with 44 goals, or Barcelona's teenage sensation Bojan.
Spain host Bosnia on 6 September and then Armenia four days later. Group 5 in UEFA Zone qualifying also includes Belgium, Estonia and Turkey.
Del Bosque announced 20 players for the two matches, most of whom were part of Spain squad which won UEFA EURO 2008.
Fabregas returns from injury, while Diego Capel of Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao's Andoni Iraola, who were recently called up for a friendly against Denmark, keep their places. Del Bosque kept Liverpool's Fernando Torres, David Villa of Valencia and Fenerbahce's Daniel Guiza in attack.
Explaining the absence of Raul, he said the decision was "purely sports-related. We take the best players on form and there are no other factors."
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Juanito (Real Betis), Fernando Navarro (Sevilla), Raul Albiol (Valencia), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao)
Forwards: David Villa (Valencia), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbahce)