Senna, Negredo and Güiza fall victim to Del Bosque's swinging axe

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The moustachioed maestro, Vicente del Bosque, has two rather chewy challenges lying on his footballing plate, this summer.

The main one of course is to win the World Cup - an achievement that would surely leave beer, pee and chunky spew running joyfully through the streets of Spain until at least Christmas.

The other - and some would argue - harder test was to go into the tournament with the full-throated backing of fans, newspapers and, most importantly of all, local political figures.

Del Bosque has achieved this particular part of his ‘Mundial’ mission with some aplomb with almost universal agreement over the choice of 23 players that will make up Spain’s squad in South Africa.

Those happy-go-lucky, easy going Basques will be content with the inclusion of Fernando Llorente and Javi Martínez. There was clapping in the Catalan capital with Víctor Valdés making the final cut, although not from Joan Laporta, no doubt, with the Barça keeper claiming that he is “proud to play with Spain” - a comment that will surely bring him 40 lashes from his independence-potty president.

Heck, even those oddballs in Albacete will be waving their webby hands in the air to cheer little, limping Andrés Iniesta being named in Del Bosque’s squad.

Marca’s editorial is a very happy one indeed, claiming that “there is a consensus across the whole country: the best are going.”

The paper then spends the rest of Friday's edition fawning over José Mourinho who is currently using Real Madrid’s training facilities for Inter’s Champions League preparations. “Look! He’s in the hotel room he’ll be staying in next season!” gasps Marca. “Look! He’s on the toilet he will be using next season! Look! He's on the bench that he’ll be fired from at the end of next season!” And so on.

“Bravo Del Bosque!” in the enthusiastic response from Santi Nolla in Barcelona daily, Mundo Deportivo. “He has been brave and ended up with a list that focuses on players that are in the best form going into the World Cup.”

Sport are most delighted with the inclusion of Valdés with Joan Batlle writing that the great season for the Barça keeper “forced [Del Bosque] into making the decision.”

Alfredo Relaño writing in AS opined that Valdés cannot even be considered the third choice keeper in the squad. “He has designs on the number one spot” claims the paper’s editor. And it is an interesting assertion when considering that Del Bosque has the biggest of WAG problems with Iker Casillas.

The Spanish captain’s current squeeze, Sara Carbonero, will be merely metres away from him during the squad’s training sessions and matches as she is the main roving reporter for Telecinco, the Spanish channel covering the World Cup.

And that means plenty of hours spent staring distractedly at his lovely ladyfriend as she ignores the answers from the footballers she is interviewing, looks constantly into the camera and plays with her hair. 

Three uncapped players have been called into the squad with no quibbles from any quarter on their inclusion. Valdés is the first along with Pedro and most excitingly of all, Javi Martínez, who takes the place of the ageing Marcos Senna.

The 21-year-old Basque midfielder was about to head off for a giant good-bye party for the retiring Joseba Exteberría and then to the US for some holidays, but has cancelled everything to head to South Africa after a genuinely superb campaign in San Mamés.

“You just can’t say how much it means for a professional footballer to go to the World Cup,” said Martínez.

There are no major complaints either on the seven players who were dropped from the original 30. Villarreal’s poor season sees Senna, Diego López, and Santi Cazorla missing the cut. Atlético keeper, David Gea, was always a ‘one for the future’ choice in the team, a similar role played by Osasuna rightback, César Azpilicueta.

And there is no space for striker, Alvaro Negredo, on the grounds that his season has not been so strong for Sevilla. And there’s the glaring fact that he’s a tool.

It is a similar situation for Dani Güiza, who has hit the 30-years-old mark and is a little off the media radar in Turkey. That, and the well known issue of Güiza’s love of parties and pretty ladies, combined with the close proximity of Sara Carbonero for a good month, no doubt.

It seems as if Vicente Del Bosque really has planned for everything.

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
Víctor Valdés (Barcelona)

Raúl Albiol, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid),
Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Joan Capdevila (Villarreal)
Carlos Marchena (Valencia) 

Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi (Barcelona)
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
David Silva (Valencia)
Javi Martínez (Athletic Bilbao)
Jesús Navas (Sevilla) (to be replaced by Cazorla once he discovers the World Cup is not being held in Cadíz)

David Villa, Pedro (Barcelona)
Juan Mata (Valencia)
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)
Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

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