Navas selected for Spain duty

MADRID - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque called up Sevilla winger Jesus Navas for the first time on Monday, part of a 23-man squad for this month's friendlies against Argentina and Austria, and omitted injured Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

The 23-year-old Navas has long been considered a likely candidate for the national team but has been overlooked in the past because he has been susceptible to anxiety attacks on extended trips away from home.

"The last coach (Luis Aragones) considered using him, but it was his personal circumstances that prevented it from happening," Del Bosque told a news conference.

"We've gone through the necessary steps and we think he is in the right conditions to come with us now, also considering the type of games we are facing."

Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez also made the squad on the back of some strong recent performances.

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has been left out because of injury concerns. Villarreal midfielders Santi Cazorla and Marcos Senna are also missing.

"We have spoken with Fernando (Torres) and Rafa Benitez and we reached the decision it was best not to force him," Del Bosque said of his number nine.

The European champions take on Argentina at the Calderon in Madrid on Saturday as part of the Spanish Football Federation's Centenary celebrations.

"I'm sure they will be motivated to play against one of the greats of world football like us," Del Bosque said. "It's one of the best games you could see at present."

Four days later, Spain travel to play Austria in Vienna, scene of their final triumph over Germany at Euro 2008.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Diego Lopez (Villarreal).

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona).

Forwards: David Silva (Valencia), Pablo Hernandez (Valencia), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbahce), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), David Villa (Valencia), Juan Mata (Valencia), Jesus Navas (Sevilla).


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