Worried Irish fans look away now; it's the Spanish Euro 2012 squad
We knew that taking on the reigning World and European Champions would be tough, but seeing the names of the Spanish squad in black and white really brings home just how tough.
Coach Vincente del Bosque confirmed his 23-man squad following a 2-0 friendly victory over Serbia last night, with Fernando Torres retaining his place in the squad despite a decidedly unimpressive campaign with Chelsea.
The wealth of resources at Spain’s disposal was illustrated by the omission of Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez – who scored against Serbia – and Roberto Soldado, who scored 27 goals for Valencia this season. The Irish squad flying to Italy this morning, meanwhile, contains Paul Green and Paul McShane (provisionally).
Predictably, the squad is Barcelona and Real Madrid heavy, with 12 of the 23 representing the two Spanish giants, a contingent that doesn’t include the injured David Villa and Carles Puyol.
Commenting on his selection, Del Bosque told Marca: “It’s a thoughtful list.”
“We have taken many turns. Pain is not being able to bring more people.”
“All who have been with us may feel a little hurt, but they must be aware that they were very close to the team,” he added.
It’s a fairly ominous list of names then, but surely it’s nothing our lads can’t handle when the two sides go head to head in Gdansk on June 14, right?
Bring it on.
Spain Euro 2012 squad:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Forwards: Pedro (Barcelona), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)