Fernando Torres’ name has been omitted for the friendly between Spain and Italy as the teams prepare for the World Cup in Brazil later this summer.
Spanish manager Vicente del Bosque has not been impressed with what he has seen from the Chelsea striker, who has been a part of the last two World Cup squads.
Fernando Torres made the international debut for his country in a friendly against Portugal in 2003 and has been capped over 100 times.
The surprising news came as the 29-year-old scored the only goal in a 1-1 draw in Champions League against Galatasaray last week.
Torres was not alone in being slighted by del Bosque, Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Villa (Atltetico Madrid), and Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), are also missing for Wednesday. Gerard Pique is out due to injury.
It will be a struggle to impress Spain’s boss for these players, since this is the last match before he inks the names of the 23 men that will make up the squad that will go to Brazil to defend their title.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 28, 2014
— Fernando Torres FC (@FanFT9) March 1, 2014
— Fernando Torres FC (@FanFT9) February 26, 2014
Fernando Torres — who is the most expensive Spanish player in English football history, after Chelsea paid a transfer fee of £50 million ($83 million) to Liverpool in 2011 — will have a hard task if he wants to push his way to be a starter now.
“There are more than two important players who are left out,” del Bosque said. “But this list is just for Italy. There is time in front of us, three months of competition, and many things could happen that ratify this list or make us bring others.”
Del Bosque added that the meeting with Italy — a repeat of the Euro 2012 final — will be a tough match for his team as they are one of the best teams in the world. Spain certainly has many talented players participating in Europe at the moment, not an easy decision to make.
Fernando Torres is Spain’s third-highest goal scorer of all time and has participated in five major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2012. Spain won the latter three tournaments, with El Niño scoring in the finals of both the Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.