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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 11, 2006

Aragones persists with World Cup squad

MADRID, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Spain coach Luis Aragones kept faith with almost all of the players he took to the World Cup when he named his 22-man squad for next week's friendly against Iceland.

Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna and Valencia keeper Santiago Canizares were the only two players to be dropped for Tuesday's match in Reykjavik.

Celta Vigo's highly-rated young midfielder Borja Oubina was a solitary new face in the squad when he was included at the expense of the Brazilian-born Senna.

The 36-year-old Canizares, who was given his international swan song at the World Cup, was left out as Aragones chose Real Madrid's Iker Casillas and Liverpool's Pepe Reina as his two keepers.

There was no place either for Asier del Horno who missed out on the World Cup because of injury and moved from Chelsea to Valencia during the close season.

'As we are still in pre-season I chose the same players that I took to the World Cup because I have the same confidence in them as I did then,' Aragones told a news conference on Friday.

After a promising start to the tournament, Spain were sent packing in the first knockout round after losing 3-1 to eventual finalists France.

Aragones explained that he had dropped Senna, who is reported to be on the verge of moving to Manchester United, because he had not played enough for Villarreal in their pre-season matches.

'He only played 20 minutes in a recent game and has had some little problems,' the coach said.

Oubina made a vital contribution to Celta's impressive campaign last season which saw them finish in sixth place in the table on their return to the top flight.

'We wanted to see Oubina because he is certain to be with us next year,' said Aragones.

Skipper Raul kept his place despite a disappointing World Cup and will win his 100th cap if he plays in Tuesday's match.

As well as next week's friendly, Spain will also meet Iceland in qualifying for Euro 2008 in March and September of next year.

Spain open their qualifying campaign wth games against Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland at the start of September. Denmark, Sweden and Latvia are their other opponents in Group F.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

Defenders: Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Juanito (Real Betis), Mariano Pernia (Atletico Madrid), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia)

Midfielders: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Jose Antonio Reyes (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Joaquin (Real Betis), Luis Garcia (Liverpool), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), David Albelda (Valencia), Borja Oubina (Celta Vigo)

Forwards: Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Raul (Real Madrid), David Villa (Valencia)

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