Fabregas returns to Spain squad against England

BY foxsports • November 7, 2011

Cesc Fabregas will return to the Spain squad for upcoming international friendlies against England and Costa Rica.

The Barcelona playmaker, who missed last month's European qualifiers because of injury, will return to London for the first time since his move from Arsenal after Spain coach Vicente del Bosque included him in the 23-man squad on Monday.

Fabregas is among eight Barcelona players in the team, although there is some doubt over Xavi Hernandez after the midfielder left Sunday's 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao early with a muscle problem.

''As far as we know, no one is injured,'' Del Bosque said. ''We quickly called Xavi to see if something was wrong. We have players to cover any injury problems.''

Sevilla winger Jesus Navas will fill in for the injured Pedro Rodriguez, while Malaga fullback Ignacio Monreal also will return.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas can become Spain's all-time leader in appearances if he plays both contests. Casillas, one of five Real Madrid players in a squad that he captains, is one cap from matching former goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta's 126-game total.

Also, Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara was omitted to allow him to instead play for Spain's Under-21 team.

''Thiago is a player we rate very highly and I personally spoke with him, but we thought it was necessary for him to play for the Under-21s on this occasion,'' Del Bosque said. ''We have a lot of faith in his chances of competing for a spot in the senior team.''

The world champions will play England at Wembley Stadium on Saturday and then face Costa Rica in San Jose three days later.

''We've only got three games before we release the squad list for the European championship so we have to take maximum advantage of these games,'' Del Bosque said.



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

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Malaga)

Midfielders: Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Strikers: David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Jesus Navas (Sevilla)