Football - Premier League

Mata, De Gea make Spain's Olympic squad

Spain have named Euro 2012 winners Juan Mata, Jordi Alba and Javi Martinez in a strong provisional squad for the Olympic football tournament in London.

 
Alba in Olympic squad - Football - Premier LeagueReuters
 

Just two days after their triumph in Kiev, Spain have turned their attentions to the 2012 Games with the Spanish federation naming a 22-man squad that must later be cut to 18.

The star name is Alba, who was Spain's first-choice left-back at Euro 2012 and proved to be one of the stars of the tournament ahead of his imminent move from Valencia to Barcelona.

Chelsea midfielder Mata - scorer of the fourth goal in the final victory over Italy - is joined in the squad by club-mate Oriol Romeu, who is a member of a hugely talented midfield that also includes Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara and Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera, two of the young players who impressed with Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League last season.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is also included, ensuring his preparations for the new domestic season will be disrupted.

"I believe it would be unfair to demand that this team be at the same level as the full national team," coach Luis Milla told a news conference.

"This team has character and a similar playing philosophy but it is a different team under different pressures."

The Olympic team will join up on Friday and will face Senegal and Mexico in friendlies before heading to London.

Goalkeepers: De Gea (Manchester United), Robles (Atletico Madrid), Marino (Villarreal)

Defenders: Azpilicueta (Marseille), Alba (Valencia), Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Dominguez (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Montoya (Barcelona), Botia (Sporting Gijon), San Jose (Athletic Bilbao), Martinez (Real Sociedad)

Midfielders: Thiago (Barcelona), Herrera (Athletic Bilbao), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Romeu (Chelsea), Isco (Malaga), Mata (Chelsea), Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)

Forwards: Adrian (Atletico Madrid), Vasquez (Espanyol), Tello (Barcelona), Rodrigo (Benfica)

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