Posted: Fri February 1, 2013 9:49AM; Updated: Fri February 1, 2013 9:49AM

Fernando Torres left off Spain roster for Uruguay friendly

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Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres helped Spain to the Euro 2012 title, its second straight continental crown.
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

MADRID (AP) -- Fernando Torres was left off the Spain squad Friday for the team's upcoming friendly with Uruguay.

Last year, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque dropped the Chelsea striker for friendlies against Venezuela and Panama. Torres has made the squad for all three of Spain's World Cup qualifiers, but has only played in one, coming on late against France before the French equalized for a draw.

Del Bosque called up Malaga forward Francisco "Isco'' Alarcon and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in the only mild surprises for a squad filled with regular faces.

Del Bosque did not include Swansea forward Miguel "Michu'' Perez or promising Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas despite speculation they would get their first call ups.

The former Real Madrid coach said that Michu had earned the right to play for Spain after his excellent debut in the Premier League, but that Spain's abundance of attacking midfielders like Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva kept him out.

"We recognize (Michu's) work and goals but we didn't find space for him,'' Del Bosque said. "There is a lot of competition at his position. It is impossible to make changes unless we leave out another who has already earned his spot on the team.''

Isco and Azpilicueta have made Del Bosque's list before, but they have yet to play for Spain.

"We could have experimented more since it is a friendly, but we have two tough games against Finland and France that will mark the future of our World Cup qualifying, so we have to consider this a preparation match against a tough rival,'' Del Bosque said.

Spain plays Uruguay in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday in a warm-up for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland on March 22 and France three days later.

Spain will play Uruguay again in the group phase of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol made the squad for the first time since missing last year's European Championship because of injury. The game against Uruguay will be his 100th for Spain.

"We are happy he is back,'' Del Bosque said. "He has always been an example for all of us.''

David Villa, Spain's all-time leading scorer who has been reduced to a bench player this season at Barcelona, was also included. Del Bosque said that Villa was a special case given that "no player has contributed as much to the current Spanish national team.''

Del Bosque said that since the squad was just for one friendly he didn't deem it necessary to replace injured goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who is out 2-3 months with a broken left hand. Spain will rely on goalkeepers Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Francisco "Isco'' Alarcon (Malaga), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Forwards: David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona)

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2013/soccer/wires/02/01/2080.ap.soc.spain.squad.2nd.ld.writethru.517/index.html#ixzz2Jeu8StOZ

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