Villa returns to Spain squad

Villa returns to Spain squad

Spain will begin their World Cup title defence with all-time leading goalscorer David Villa after he was recalled for the first time since suffering a broken leg eight months ago.

Villa missed Spain’s Euro 2012 success after he sustained the horrific injury with Barcelona at the World Club Challenge last December.

The 30-year-old scored on his return in Barca’s season-opening win over Real Sociedad two weeks ago, and Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has rushed him straight back into his 23-man for their opening World Cup qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi next month, which will be preceded by a home friendly against Saudi Arabia.

Del Bosque also recalled star playmaker Xavi after he was rested for the recent 2-1 friendly win over Puerto Rico, however, London Olympians Javi Martinez and Juan Mata have again been left out.

Martinez only completed a protracted €40m move from Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, while Mata’s exclusion comes after a request from his club, Chelsea, to reduce his workload after a busy summer.

Mata’s Blues team-mate Fernando Torres has been included and will win his 100th cap should he appear against the Saudis in Pontevedra on September 7.

Squad: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona); Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Malaga), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Etxebarria Benat (Real Betis), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid); Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Jesus Navas (Sevilla); Roberto Soldado (Valencia), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), David Villa (Barcelona).

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