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Euro 2008: Spain squad

June 05, 2008 22:03 IST

Penpix of Spain's 23-man squad for Euro 2008:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid). Goalkeeper. Born 20.5.81. Caps 75. Goals 0.

The undisputed first choice, Casillas is the Spain captain and one of the squad's truly world-class players. A brilliant shot stopper and seemingly impossible to beat in one-on-one situations, he occasionally has problems with high balls into the box and dealing with long-distance shots.

Pepe Reina (Liverpool). Goalkeeper. Born 31.8.82. Caps 9. Goals 0.

Began career at Barcelona, but made his name when he switched to Villarreal and helped them to finish in a best-ever third place in the league. Joined Rafa Benitez's Spanish colony at Liverpool in 2005 and has thrived ever since.

Has an excellent record in saving penalties, but prone to the occasional gaffe and his distribution can be poor.

Andres Palop (Sevilla). Goalkeeper. Born 22.10.73 Caps 0. Goals 0.

Joined Sevilla in 2005 after spending six seasons as Santiago Canizares's stand-in at Valencia. The hero of Sevilla's 2007 victory in the UEFA Cup, he is a solid, economical keeper who inspires confidence.

Raul Albiol (Valencia). Defender. Born 4.9.85. Caps 4. Goals 0.

Big, strong centre-back whose career was almost ended by a car crash when on his way to join Getafe in a loan move in 2004. He lost his spleen and was in a coma for a short while, but made a successful recovery. Originally a holding midfielder, he has developed into an efficient, unfussy defender.

Fernando Navarro (Real Mallorca). Defender. 25.6.82. Caps 0 Goals 0.

A product of the Barcelona youth system, Navarro left the club for Mallorca in 2005, first on loan and then on a permanent move. A regular first-choice for the islanders in the last two seasons.

Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool). Defender. Born 17.1.83. Caps 1. Goals 0.

A versatile fullback who first got noticed when playing in the Real Madrid youth teams. A lack of first team opportunities prompted a move to Deportivo Coruna and after just half a season he joined Rafa Benitez's Spanish contingent at Liverpool.

Got his first cap for Spain in the friendly victory over Italy in March.

Carles Puyol (Barcelona). Defender. Born 13.4.78. Caps 59. Goals 1.

Shaggy-haired defender who has become a highly influential figure for both Barcelona and Spain. Terrier-like in the tackle and a threat when he charges forward, but has a tendency to dive in to challenges and gives himself little margin for error.

More often used in a centre-half role rather than his previously favoured right-back slot.

Carlos Marchena (Valencia). Defender. Born 31.7.79. Caps 40. Goals 2.

Marchena broke into the national side after winning himself a place in the centre of the miserly Valencia defence that won the league title under Rafa Benitez in 2002.

A favourite of Luis Aragones, he is a determined defender and a good ball player, but does have a tendency to give away costly fouls in and around the area. Can also play a holding role in midfield.

Juanito (Real Betis). Defender. Born 23.7.76. Caps 23. Goals 2.

Strong, confident and good in the air, Juanito has been a fixture in the centre of the Betis back four for the last seven seasons. A reliable option who has always performed well for the national side.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid). Defender. Born 30.3.86. Caps 32. Goals 4.

Became one of the world's most expensive defenders when Real Madrid bought him out of his contract with Sevilla for 27 million euros in 2005. Skilful, brave and with an eye for goal, Ramos can play either on the right or in the centre of defence.

However, he loses his cool too often and has picked up a stack of bookings and red cards since joining Real.

Joan Capdevila (Villarreal). Defender. Born 3.2.78. Caps 16. Goals 2.

Joined Villarreal at the start of the season and an impressive campaign with the Mediterranean side has helped the Catalan make the previously problematic left-back slot his own.

Likes getting forward and frequently causes problems in the opposition area from set-pieces. Has a powerful shot on him and scored the winner in the recent friendly against France.

Xabi Alonso (Liverpool). Midfielder. Born 25.11.81. Caps 41. Goals 1.

Creative but gritty central midfielder who made his name when he played a key role in Real Sociedad's surprise run to take second place to Real Madrid in the league in 2003. Now an established part of Liverpool's Spanish colony.

Xavi (Barcelona). Midfielder. Born 25.1.80. Caps 56. Goals 5.

A key player for both Barcelona and Spain, Xavi's patient ball skills and precise passes have the capacity to wear opponents down, but his service to the forwards can sometimes be on the slow side. Good from free kicks and likes to take a pot shot at goal.

Santi Cazorla (Villarreal). Midfielder. Born 13.12.84. Caps 0. Goals 0.

Highly talented attacking midfielder who has the ability to unlock opposition defences with a neat through pass or a jinking run.

Spent a season at Recreativo Huelva last year, but impressed so much that Villarreal decided to invite him back. The decision paid dividends as he has been instrumental in their best-ever second place finish in the league.

Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal). Midfielder. Born 4.5.87. Caps: 24. Goals: 0.

Arsenal spirited the talented but tough midfielder away from the Barcelona youth set-up as a 16-year-old and gave him a fast-track promotion into the first team.

He has thrived under Arsene Wenger, surprising many by displaying a maturity and work ethic well beyond his years. Although at the centre of things for Arsenal, he tends to get crowded out in the talented Spanish midfield.

David Silva (Valencia). Midfielder. Born 8.01.86 Caps: 12. Goals: 2.

Las Palmas-born Silva is a highly-talented midfielder who can play on the left flank or slot in behind the strikers. He was in superb form last season but is another victim of Valencia's downturn and went off the boil this season.

Marcos Senna (Villarreal). Midfielder. Born 17.7.76 Caps: 9. Goals: 0.

Dynamic Brazilian-born central midfielder who broke into the Spain squad before the last World Cup. A key figure at Villarreal, he is the natural replacement for Valencia outcast David Albelda as a midfield ball-winner.

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona). Midfielder. Born 11.5.84 Caps 22. Goals: 5.

Another product of the Barcelona youth system, Iniesta has proved himself at the club despite the intense competition from a host of foreign internationals in recent seasons.

Has great vision and often provides the killer ball for the Barcelona forwards. His cool, unflustered approach to the game makes him an ideal big-game player.

Ruben de la Red (Getafe). Midfielder. Born 5.06.85. Caps: 0. Goals: 0.

Another former Real Madrid youth team player who has had to leave the club to prove his worth, De la Red can play in both midfield and at the back. An intelligent distributor of the ball, he played a key role in Getafe's run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup and the final of the King's Cup.

Fernando Torres (Liverpool). Forward. Born 20.3.84. Caps: 47. Goals: 15.

Appears liberated after his move from Atletico to Liverpool and has had a sparkling first season at Anfield. Torres is exceptionally quick, but needs to be given the ball in space, something that does not always happen when he plays for the national side.

David Villa (Valencia). Forward. Born 3.12.81. Caps: 30. Goals: 13.

One of Spain's few out-and-out strikers, Villa has had a muted season at troubled Valencia but he remains a classy finisher and has a more opportunist streak about him than Torres. It remains to be seen whether Aragones will play him alongside or as an alternative to the Liverpool striker.

Daniel Guiza (Real Mallorca). Forward. Born: 17.8.80. Caps: 2. Goals 0.

After an irregular career tracking around a series of less glamorous club sides, Guiza caught the eye of Getafe after a couple of impressive seasons with Ciudad Murcia.

His relationship with former gossip queen-turned football agent Nuria Bermudez has helped settle him down and was the leading goalscorer in the Primera Liga with 27 goals for his new club Mallorca.

Sergio Garcia (Real Zaragoza). Forward. Born 9.6.83. Caps 0. Goals 0.

Barcelona-born striker who broke into the first team in the 2003/04 season after impressing in the reserves.

Moved to Levante and then Zaragoza where he has made the successful switch from an out-and-out striker to playing on the right side of attack, providing a rare bright spot in the club's miserable season in the Primera Liga.

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