Football: Del Bosque calls up Monreal for Italy friendly

MADRID, Aug 8, 2011 (AFP) - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called up Malaga defender Ignacio Monreal to replace the injured Sergio Ramos for the squad to face Italy in a friendly on Wednesday.

Monreal, who has four caps, will join the squad on Monday, Malaga said on its website.

"I'm very happy," the 25-year-old was quoted as saying. "It's a call-up that I didn't expect. I'm going because of an injury to a colleague, and I hope that he recovers as soon as possible."

Ramos returned from a trip to China with the Real Madrid squad with a reoccurrence of back pain he first experienced during the club's US tour, Real said.

Spanish press reports said the World Cup star could also miss the first leg of the Spanish SuperCup against Barcelona in Madrid on Sunday.

Del Bosque first announced the 22-man squad on Friday.

The World and European champions are already be without several regulars for the encounter in Bari including Barcelona defender Carles Puyol (injured), Joan Capdevila, Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Marchena.

Del Bosque could hand Thiago Alcantara a first full cap after including the Barcelona midfielder for the first time.

Thiago, who was born in Italy and is the son of former Brazil World Cup winner Mazinho, was part of the Spain under-21 side that won the European championship in June and recently extended his contract with Barcelona by two years to 2015.


Spain squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool/ENG), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao), Ignacio Monreal (Malaga).

Midfielders: Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao).

Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Juan Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), David Villa (Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Chelsea/ENG), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla).

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