Madrid, Sep 29 (IANS) Napoli’s forward Jose Callejon, Valencia’s striker Rodrigo Moreno and Real Sociedad’s midfielder Asier Illaramendi returned to the Spain football squad, announced on Friday for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualification matches against Albania and Israel.
Rodrigo has already made his debut with Spain’s first team on October 12, 2014 when he played for nine minutes against Luxembourg, reports Efe.
Rodrigo is rewarded for a good start to the season under coach Marcelino Garcia at Valencia and has a chance to add to the single cap he won for his country in 2014, but there is no place for veteran striker David Villa, who was a surprise inclusion in Lopetegui’s last squad, reports Xinhua news agency.
Illaramendi and Callejon also returned to the national team for a home match against Albania on October 6, and an away game versus Israel three days later.
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui also keeps faith with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, despite a campaign against him on Twitter for voicing his support for the independence referendum in Catalonia on October 1, which has been classified as illegal.
Lopetegui defended the decision, saying that “Pique gives everything in every game” he played for his country.
Spain lead Group G with 22 points, three points ahead of Italy, with two matches to go.
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic) Pepe Reina (Napoli) David De Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmun), Dani Carvajal, Nach Fernandez, Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Isco Alarcón, Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Asier Illarramandi (Real Sociedad), David Silva (Manchester City), Saul Ñíguez and Koke Resurrección (Atlético de Madrid).
Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta), Jose Callejón (Napoli), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Alvaro Morata and Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea).
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