Del Bosque gives Villa time to prove Euro fitness
MADRID (AP) -- Spain striker David Villa has been given extra time to prove his fitness for the European Championship after coach Vicente del Bosque decided to delay the announcement of the defending champions' final squad to May 27.
Del Bosque was originally set to reveal his 23-man squad on May 23, but he said Friday that the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao two days after that date led to the change.
Final squads must be submitted to UEFA by May 29.
"I spoke to (Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola) yesterday and he told me how (Villa) is. It is our obligation and conviction to wait on him until the last moment,'' Del Bosque said at an event hosted by Europa Press news agency.
Villa has yet to play for Barcelona since undergoing leg surgery in December, and the club has only two league games remaining before the cup final.
Del Bosque said he will announce a preliminary squad on May 20 before Spain's pre-tournament camp in Austria from May 22-29, with the internationals from Barcelona and Athletic joining the players on the final day.
The coach said that if he selects players from Chelsea - the club of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata - they will join the squad on May 25, six days after playing in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Spain plays international friendlies in Switzerland on May 26 and 30 before facing China at home in Seville on June 3 in its final warmup.
"I've got the squad selected in my head,'' Del Bosque said. "We watch each round of play without focusing on each game. The last part of the season is important but we won't place extra value on it.''
Spain opens the June 8-July 1 tournament against Italy on June 10, and also plays Ireland and Croatia in Group C.
Euro 2012 will be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
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