On Sunday morning, Vicente Del Bosque announced the names of the 23 players he will take with him to represent Spain for Euro 2012. La Roja will be looking to repeat as European champions and will start their Euro 2012 campaign on June 10 against Italy.
Without further ado, here is your Spanish national team for Euro 2012.
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbelo (Real Madrid), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (FC Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (FC Barcelona)
In my previous article, “Spain: Who Would I Take to Euro 2012?”, I gave you my list of 23 players that I’d take to Euro 2012 if I was Vicente Del Bosque.
Let’s make a quick comparison.
There were no surprises at goalkeeper as everyone knew Iker, VV, and Pepe were going to go.
I’m disappointed at some of the picks Del Bosque made for the squad. To pick Raul Albiol, a man who rode the Real Madrid bench most of the season, over players like Alvaro Dominguez Soto of Atletico Madrid or Andoni Iraola of Athletic Bilbao is ridiculous in my opinion. Dominguez and Iraola had tremendous seasons for their clubs and should have gone to Euro 2012 over Albiol.
Juanfran made his debut with the first squad for Spain on Saturday. One day later, he is selected for Euro 2012. I have no problem with Juanfran being selected for the team. A solid season with Atletico and a good choice by Del Bosque.
There were no surprises at midfield as well.
I was a bit surprised to see Pedro selected to the team although I am not mad at the choice. He had a disappointing year at Barcelona and I felt that there were other players – like Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid and Iker Muñiain of Bilbao – that deserved to go before Pedro.
At Sunday morning's press conference to announce the 23-man squad, Vicente Del Bosque stated with he selected Pedro.
"He had an irregular season, like many others did, but we tried to look at his path in the medium run. That is why we have called him up. We need people who can play out wide, who are effective and who can add quality to the bench." Del Bosque said, according to Goal.com.
But with his experience and his ability to make big goals in big games, Pedro is not a bad choice, especially after seeing the Canarian get a brace for Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final.
The player who was snubbed by Del Bosque that I feel bad for the most is Roberto Soldado. Del Bosque selected Alvaro Negredo over Soldado for the final striker spot and I’m sure it was a tough choice to make.
According to Goal.com, Del Bosque defended his pick of Negredo over Soldado at the press conference announcing the squad by saying that one player is quicker (Soldado), but the other is more of a team player (Negredo).
While I’m happy for Negredo who will finally get a chance to play a major international tournament, I feel for Soldado who had a tremendous season for Valencia. Statistically, Soldado had a better season than Negredo. I felt the way Soldado led Valencia far in the Europa League as well as finish third in La Liga and with Soldado being co-winner of Spain’s Zarra Trophy – given to the Spanish domestic player with the most goals in La Liga – I thought that was enough to give him the edge over Negredo.
I was wrong. Animo Roberto.
La Roja is ready to go!
19 of the 23 players selected where part of the 2010 World Cup winning squad (Alba, Juanfran, Negredo, and Cazorla are the new players).
We’ll see what the Del Bosque’s starting XI will be.
In order for Spain to succeed, it all starts and ends with the midfield. This team will go as far as the mids take them.
And La Roja has the best midfield in the world, so I’m sure they will take Spain far in Euro 2012.
La Roja looks strong and will go for European championship number three as well as look to become the first country to repeat as champions.
The players are set now. Time to go get this title.
I leave you with this video of a great remix of the Euro 2008/2012 Theme by YouTube account name The24fps. Put this remix on your iPod and let's get ready for Euro 2012.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on Bleacher Report and Featured Columnist for Spain for Euro 2012.
Follow me on Twitter:@XoelCardenas
Don’t forget to check out my other columns: