Defending Champions Spain Release Provisional 2014 World Cup Squad

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By Christine Jane Caparras | May 14, 2014 6:28 PM EST

The impossible job of calling up players to defend the World Cup title falls on Spain's Team Manager Vicente del Bosque. He finally announced the much anticipated 30-man provisional line-up on May 13, 2014.

Reuters
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been included in the squad to face Manchester United in a Champions League match

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The Spanish National team has enjoyed immense success in recent years having won back-to-back European Championships and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spanish football is also at an all-time high with two Spanish clubs competing in the upcoming UEFA Champions League final on May 24. Finalists Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will each see four of their players in the World Cup team. The Spanish team with the most players in the squad is FC Barcelona with seven. With the highest number of home-grown players in the top flight, it's a tough task to narrow down the selection for the World Cup.

Chelsea's Fernando Torres and Manchester United's Juan Mata have both been included in Spain's preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup. Neither player has had the best of seasons but Vicente del Bosque picked both of them for his provisional squad, Torres, who scored in the finals of both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, has been absent from the past few Spain squads but he has won a berth.

In a move that deviates from the strategies of other teams who focused on youth over experience, Ander Iturraspe of Athletic Bilbao and Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid are the only new players to earn a cap for the first time. The strategy perhaps relies on the adage of not fixing something that isn't broken.

Players that have been left out are the Real Madrid pair Álvaro Arbeloa and Isco. Arbeloa was part of the Spain sides that have won back-to-back European Championships and the World Cup in the past six years but the experienced full-back will not be going to Brazil this summer.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado will also miss out after a poor first season at White Hart Lane. Aside from Torres, Del Bosque has included eight more Premier League players, including the Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who has spent the season on loan at Napoli.

Del Bosque will announce his final 23-man squad on 25 May.

Provisional 30-man Squad:

Goalkeepers Iker Casillas, David de Gea, Pepe Reina

Defenders Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran, Jordi Alba, César Azpilicueta, Daniel Carvajal, Alberto Moreno

Midfielders Xavi, Javi Martínez, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Ander Iturraspe, Cesc Fábregas, Thiago Alcântara, Juan Mata, David Silva, Pedro, Jesús Navas

Forwards Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been included in the squad to face Manchester United in a Champions League match
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