Uncapped Sevilla duo named in Spain squad for friendlies

Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico and winger Aleix Vidal have been included in the Spain squad by Vicente del Bosque.

CRISTINA QUICLER

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called up uncapped Sevilla duo Sergio Rico and Aleix Vidal for next month’s internationals against Costa Rica and Belarus, but Chelsea forward Diego Costa misses out.

Goalkeeper Rico, 21, and winger Vidal, 25, have been rewarded for some impressive performances this season for the Andalusian club, who finished fifth in La Liga and face Dnipro in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

They join club-mate Vitolo in a 24-man squad, but Costa and Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago are among those absent with fitness concerns ruling both players out of Del Bosque’s plans.

The Spain boss said he did not want to risk Costa, who has struggled with hamstring problems this season but came on as a substitute for Chelsea at the weekend.

"He has muscle troubles and these are two very difficult games in which we have to be sure," Del Bosque told a press conference.

"Let there be no doubt, we hold him in high regard and in the same way that (Paco) Alcacer hasn’t been called up, now it’s the same for him."

On playmaker Thiago, Del Bosque added: "We’ve been in contact with him, we were hoping he could come but he has a slight niggle and he is being treated in Barcelona.

"We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not to force it. Muscle injuries are dangerous, but we clearly count on him."

Spain play Costa Rica in a friendly in Leon on June 11 before taking on Belarus in a European Championship qualifier three days later in Borisov.

Costa was named in the last Spain squad for their previous matches against Ukraine and Holland but had to pull out through injury.

Also missing from that last squad are goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, who is set to be sidelined for six months with a serious knee injury, as well as Raul Albiol and Mario Suarez.

Instead, Rico, Vidal, Celta Vigo forward Nolito and Valencia striker Alcacer have been drafted in.

Del Bosque added: "Asenjo’s injury has forced us to look for another goalkeeper, Rico is a very young guy who has had a great season and deserves to be here.

"Aleix Vidal is the same, he’s a wide player, which there aren’t so many of, and he’s playing very well."

Spain squad: De Gea (Manchester United), Casillas (Real Madrid), Rico (Sevilla); Alba (Barcelona), Bartra (Barcelona), Bernat (Bayern), Carvajal (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Pique (Barcelona), Ramos (Real Madrid), San Jose (Athletic Bilbao); Busquets (Barcelona), Cazorla (Arsenal), Fabregas (Chelsea), Iniesta (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Pedro (Barcelona), Silva (Manchester City), Vidal (Sevilla), Vitolo (Sevilla); Alcacer (Valencia), Morata (Juventus), Nolito (Celta).