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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

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Barcelona 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 2, 2007

Torres recalled by Spain for Old Trafford visit

MADRID, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Fernando Torres has been recalled to the Spain squad by coach Luis Aragones for Wednesday's friendly international against England at Old Trafford but former captain Raul has been overlooked once again.

Torres, who had been a fixture in Aragones's squads, was dropped for November's 1-0 friendly defeat to Romania after a poor start to the season with his club Atletico Madrid.

However, the 22-year-old's form has picked up and he has contributed seven goals to help Atletico climb to fifth in the Primera Liga, six points off leaders Barcelona.

Torres has 14 goals from 39 appearances with Spain.

Real Madrid striker Raul was dropped for the first time in 10 years for reasons other than injury for Spain's Euro 2008 qualifier away to Sweden at the beginning of October and he has now failed to make the last three squads.

There was no room either for Joaquin or Jose Antonio Reyes. A number of players who missed the last match through injury return, including midfielders David Albelda and Xavi, and centre-back Pablo Ibanez.

Real Betis defender Juanito and Liverpool's Luis Garcia are both out injured.

It will be Spain's first visit to England since they were beaten 3-0 in a friendly in 2001 in Sven-Goran Eriksson's first match in charge of England.

The match will mark the 21st meeting between the teams. The most recent one, in the Bernabeu in November 2004, was marred by racist abuse directed at England's black players.

England and Spain have both made stuttering starts to their Euro 2008 qualifying campaigns. In March, Spain will face Denmark and Iceland at home in Group F and England will travel to Israel and Andorra in Group E.

Squad:

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

Defenders: Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Joan Capdevila (Deportivo Coruna), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Javi Navarro (Sevilla), Angel (Celta Vigo)

Midfielders: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Miguel Angel Angulo (Valencia), David Silva (Valencia), David Albelda (Valencia)

Forwards: David Villa (Valencia). Angel Arizmendi (Deportivo Coruna), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Morientes (Valencia)