Soccer

Spain to include Markel Susaeta for 1st time

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MADRID (AP)

Athletic Bilbao right winger Markel Susaeta has been summoned by Spain for the first time to reinforce the attack for the friendly away in Panama on Wednesday.

''I did not expect it,'' Susaeta said. ''It was a total surprise and I still have not taken it in. I am very happy to be in the selection.''

He has five goals in 19 club appearances and will, if picked to play, likely be just in front of Barcelona right back Martin Montoya.

Susaeta helped Athletic reach the final of the Europa League last season by scoring four times in eight appearances, and has played for Spain Under-21s.

Spain coach Vincent del Bosque also chose Chelsea attacking midfielder Juan Mata after he missed the last two internationals. Susaeta, however, will not be supplying crosses to Fernando Torres, who was not called on by Del Bosque.

''Our squad is very stable, hence it is very difficult to make changes in it because it is made up of players that have been carefully contrasted with one another,'' Del Bosque said. ''Novelty for novelty's sake leads nowhere.

''This game may be a friendly, but it is nevertheless an international, and we must show our best image. The whole world is waiting to see our players. (Andres) Iniesta, Cesc (Fabregas), (David) Villa are lads who, apart from being well liked by us, are players the whole world wants to see.

This will be the team's first match since its qualifying record of 24 straight wins was dented by a 1-1 draw against France.

Spain will be sporting its new retro-style La Roja strip, featuring a distinct golden-yellow V-neck, for the friendly at Rommel Fernandez Stadium.

This will be the first senior international between Spain and Panama. Up for grabs is the Fifth-Centenary Cup which commemorates the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean.

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Spain:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Martin Montoya (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).

Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Benat Etxebarria (Real Betis).

Forwards: David Villa (Barcelona), Markel Susaeta (Athletic Bilbao), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Roberto Soldado (Valencia), Juan Mata (Chelsea).

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