Del Bosque recalls Javi Martinez for Spain
MADRID (AP) -Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called Bayern Munich defender Javi Martinez to replace the injured Gerard Pique for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and France.
Martinez, who can play in midfield and defense, was the only change to the squad from Spain's opening win at Georgia.
Spain has won 23 straight qualifiers. The world champions play Belarus in Minsk on Oct. 12, and then host France on Oct. 16 at Vicente Calderon stadium, the home of Atletico Madrid.
Del Bosque says "these are vitally important games, Belarus especially. Any slip up could cost us dearly.''
Spain will be led by eight Barcelona players, including the midfielder block of Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez.