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Spain coach Luis Aragones announces qualifier squad, laments Puerta death

Spain coach Luis Aragones announces qualifier squad, laments Puerta death

Spain coach Luis Aragones lamented the death of midfielder Antonio Puerta when he named a 20-man squad on Friday for two European Championship qualifiers.
Aragones said Puerta had been "very close to appearing in my list" for the games against Iceland in Reykjavik on Sept. 8 and Latvia in the Spanish city of Oviedo four days later.
"I had a terrible shock when I heard the news," Aragones said.
Puerta, 22, died Tuesday of organ failure due to a prolonged period of cardiac arrest following his collapse during Sevilla's league game with Getafe three days earlier. He represented Spain once _ in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Sweden last October.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Villarreal left back Joan Capdevila returned to the squad after missing the recent 3-2 friendly victory over Greece because of injury.
Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was included even though he is suspended for the Iceland game, while FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and Sevilla defender Javi Navarro are out through injury.
Real Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez was again left out of the squad. The forward _ Spain's all-time leading scorer with 44 goals in 102 appearances _ hasn't played for Spain since being dropped last September although Aragones said he could be recalled later.
"Raul, like some other players, has been improving. In the future, why shouldn't he return?" Aragones said.
Spain, which is enjoying a six-game winning streak, is third in qualifying group F, three points behind leader Sweden and one point behind Northern Ireland. The top two qualify for next year's finals in Austria and Switzerland.
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Roster:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mariano Pernia (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Juanito Gutierrez (Real Betis), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Angel Lopez (Villarreal)
Midfielders: Miguel Angel Angulo (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (FC Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), David Albelda (Valencia), Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona), David Silva (Valencia), Joaquin Sanchez (Valencia)
Forwards: Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia), Luis Garcia (Espanol)


Updated : 2021-01-24 15:32 GMT+08:00