MADRID - A club versus country row has boiled up in Spain over coach Vicente del Bosque's decision to call up seven Barcelona players for the world champions' friendly against Mexico in Mexico city on Wednesday.
Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said the selection of midfielder Xavi, striker David Villa, goalkeeper Victor Valdes and four others for the match, which falls three days before the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, was "an extraordinarily negative set of circumstances."
"It will be the first time in history that they call up players who are still on holiday," the former Spain goalkeeper was quoted as saying on Barca's website.
"They (the Barca players) are important because they have become world champions but it's obvious in what condition they will go to the national team training camp.
"Logic says they are not in a position to make such a big effort and undertake such a long trip."
After announcing his squad on Thursday, Del Bosque said he did not think the proximity of the Super Cup was a good enough reason not to select the Barca players, who formed the core of the side who won the World Cup in South Africa last month.
La Liga champions Barca are due to play King's Cup winners Sevilla - who had one player, winger Jesus Navas, called up for the Mexico match - in the traditional season opener. The first leg is on August 14 and the second on August 21.
"We are quite considerate and sensitive to the demands of all clubs because it has to be like that," Del Bosque told a news conference at the Spanish football federation base outside Madrid.
"There have been no requests from Barcelona in any sense... and we have had no contact with them."
The only Barca player from the World Cup squad left out was midfielder Andres Iniesta, scorer of the extra-time winner in the final against the Netherlands, who is being rested.
Del Bosque gave left-sided Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano his first call-up and recalled both Bruno's club mate Santi Cazorla, an attacking midfielder, and Osasuna defender Nacho Monreal, neither of whom were selected for the World Cup.
Four other players from the World Cup squad will not travel. Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina and Raul Albiol are injured and midfielder Javi Martinez is on duty with the under-21 side.
Del Bosque has told the team not let their World Cup triumph go to their heads and they should now focus on qualifying for Euro 2012, which begins away to Liechtenstein on September 3.comments