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Spain name 27-man squad for pre-World Cup event

By Staff
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MADRID, May 5 (Reuters) Spain coach Luis Aragones has named a 27-man squad for a World Cup get-together on May 8, leaving out Valencia winger Vicente, Real Madrid midfielder Guti and Espanyol playmaker Ivan de la Pena.

Aragones has stood by captain Raul and Xavi. Raul has not been in top form for Real since returning from a knee injury in February while Xavi made his first appearance for Barca, after five months out with a knee injury, last week.

Vicente has been struggling to recover from a long-term ankle injury and has not returned to action with his club yet.

Guti and De la Pena have paid for inconsistent form with their clubs and appear to be out of the running.

Getafe's Argentine fullback Mariano Pernia, who obtained dual nationality last month, was also not included.

Of the outsiders called up to the last get-together in April only Villarreal defender Javi Venta and Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta have made the cut.

Real Betis's Melli, Celta Vigo's Borja Oubina, Getafe's Jaime Gavilan and Real Zaragoza's Cani look to have dropped out of contention, barring injury to others.

The four Liverpool players - Pepe Reina, Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso and Fernando Morientes - are not expected to make an appearance in Madrid as they prepare for next weekend's FA Cup final against West Ham.

Spain have been drawn alongside Ukraine, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia in Group H at the World Cup which begins on June 9.

They have arranged warm-up friendlies against Russia in Albacete on May 27, Egypt in Elche on June 3 and Croatia in Geneva on June 7.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Santiago Canizares (Valencia) Defenders: Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Juanito (Real Betis), Asier del Horno (Chelsea), Joan Capdevila (Deportivo Coruna), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Javi Venta (Villarreal) 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), Ruben Baraja (Valencia), Marcos Senna (Villarreal) Forwards: Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Morientes (Liverpool), Raul (Real Madrid), David Villa (Valencia) Reuters PG RN1829

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