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Rediff.com  » Sports » Morientes leads Liverpool legion in Spain squad

Morientes leads Liverpool legion in Spain squad

August 11, 2005 17:26 IST

Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes was recalled to the Spain squad on Thursday as coach Luis Aragones looked to find a solution to his team's problems in front of goal.

Morientes was one of four Liverpool players named in the 22-man squad for next Wednesday's friendly international against Uruguay in the northern coastal city of Gijon.

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina, and midfielders Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia were also included, making the Premier League side the biggest contributors to the squad ahead of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, who each supplied three players.

Morientes, who last played for Spain in a World Cup qualifier against Bosnia in September 2004, has an impressive scoring record at the international level, netting 24 times in 38 appearances.

The former Real Madrid striker gave a reminder of his old form when he scored twice in Liverpool's 3-1 victory over CSKA Sofia in a Champions League third round qualifier on Wednesday.

He will be competing with former club colleague Raul, Fernando Torres, Albert Luque and Raul Tamudo for a place up front.

Spain have scored just two goals in their last three World Cup qualifiers despite creating a host of opportunities.

Deportivo Coruna midfielder Sergio was also recalled for the Uruguay match, one of two friendlies Spain will play in preparation for next month's potentially decisive World Cup qualifier against Serbia & Montenegro.

Sergio, who won the last of his 10 caps in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Northern Ireland in June 2003, has been drafted in to replace Valencia's David Albelda, who is suspended for the Serbia & Montenegro match at the Vicente Calderon on September 7.

Spain lead Group Seven by a point from the Balkan side, but they have played a game more than their rivals, who have not conceded a goal in any of their six qualifiers to date.

Aragones has largely kept faith with the core of the squad that scrambled a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Bosnia and edged a 1-0 win over Lithuania in their qualifiers in June.

NO REYES

Valencia striker David Villa has been replaced by Tamudo, who had to drop out of the last squad because of injury, and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Pablo Orbaiz is unavailable because of an ankle problem.

Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes misses out once again.

Spain play another friendly against Canada in Santander on September 3.

Squad:
Goalkeepers:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
Defenders: Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Sergio Ramos (Sevilla), Asier del Horno (Chelsea), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Juanito (Real Betis), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Ivan de la Pena (Espanyol), Joaquin (Real Betis), Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio (Deportivo Coruna), Albert Luque (Deportivo Coruna), Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Luis Garcia (Liverpool), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Vicente (Valencia).
Forwards: Raul (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Raul Tamudo (Espanyol), Fernando Morientes.

Source:
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