Aduriz Earns Spain Call Up, With Costa Getting Snubbed

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Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz has been handed his first Spain call up in over five years, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa not making the cut.

Aduriz has been exceptional for Athletic, scoring 31 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said of the 35-year-old: “Aduriz deserves to be here. He has scored a lot of goals and he is a player we all like.”

Del Bosque stresses Costa was dropped due to fitness issues and not as a form of disciplinary action for his actions following his dismissal in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup against Everton.

Del Bosque said: “If Diego Costa was 100 per cent fit he would have been picked. The situation the other day was not so serious – and we are not here to punish.”

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has also been left out with his club team-mate Sergi Roberto included.

“I spoke personally with Andres. He has a bit of a muscle problem, so we thought it better for him not to come,” said Del Bosque. “Sergi Roberto has played everywhere and is capable of playing different positions. But we see him as a midfielder.”

European champions Spain continue their preparations for Euro 2016 by taking on Italy in Udine on March 24. They then travel to face Romania in Cluj three days later.

Spain squad to face Italy and Romania:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto), David De Gea (Manchester United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla).

Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Mario Gaspar (Villarreal), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marc Bartra (Barcelona), Nacho (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Thiago (Bayern Munich), Isco (Real Madrid), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Pedro (Chelsea), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City).

Forwards: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Paco Alcacer (Valencia).



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