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.
I'm very happy to being back with the Spanish National Team! I'm excited of being with my teammates again and enjoying with this Team!— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) August 31, 2012
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).