Joy for Spain’s playmaking starlets

Espana playmakers

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]panish national team coach Vicente del Bosque has rewarded the two playmakers most instrumental in firing the country to victory during this summer’s European Under-21 Championships, by calling them up to the senior squad.

Both Isco and Thiago should feature in Spain’s upcoming friendly against Ecuador in Guayaquil, after making the fairly experimental 21-man squad which sees the likes of Xavi, Juan Mata, Sergio Busquets, David Villa and Fernando Torres left at home.

Del Bosque had already made it clear that he would be giving a chance to a number of players on the fringe of the senior squad, in light of the important World Cup qualifiers which commence again in September, and now the stars of the Under-21 squad have an opportunity to stake their claim.

Since winning the tournament in June, both players have been involved in high-profile, big-money moves: Isco to Real Madrid for €30 million, whilst Thiago left Barcelona to join up with former coach Pep Guardiola at European Champions, Bayern Munich, for €25 million.

“We are at the start of the season and there are many factors we need to take into account,” Del Bosque told the national team’s official website on Friday.

“It isn’t just a friendly. It is an international match that acts as a stepping stone towards September 6 when we play in Finland.

“Finland is a very important game because if we win it is an important step forward. We then have two games at home. We only have three left, we are ahead of France, but it would be a big mistake to be careless.”

First-time call up, Koke, the Atletico Madrid midfielder who enjoyed a great domestic season, also joins Isco and Thiago in the squad, and the creative trio will hope to impress alongside the talents of Iniesta, Fabregas, Cazorla and David Silva, as Spain’s strength-in-depth in the creative areas of the pitch continues to grow.

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