Spain boss Del Bosque to be ruthless in team selection

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque intends to be ruthless in selecting his World Cup squad and won’t be swayed by affection for players who contributed to the nation’s recent successes, he said on Saturday ahead of important games.

Del Bosque announced his squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Italy on Friday, the last before he has to name a preliminary 30-man group for the finals in Brazil, and decorated forwards David Villa and Fernando Torres were notable absentees.

Fernando Llorente and Juan Mata, who took part in the triumphant 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 campaigns, were also omitted as Del Bosque opted to call up in-form strikers Alvaro Negredo and Brazil-born Diego Costa.

"The extraordinary generation of players that helped us become champions have a place in my heart," Del Bosque said. "But I also have to keep in mind that I need to be flexible and give those who can bring something to the team a chance," added the 63-year-old.

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