Javi Martinez gets Spain recall for Belarus and France clashes as Mata misses out

Stefan Coerts
Del Bosque: It's getting harder for Spain all the time

Vicente del Bosque has announced his 23-man squad for Spain's upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and France.

The 61-year-old national team coach has made one change to the squad from its qualification opener against Georgia last month, with Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez taking the injured Gerard Pique's place.

Experienced defender Carles Puyol misses out as well after sustaining an elbow injury in Barcelona's 2-0 Champions League win over Benfica in midweek, while Juan Mata has been omitted, too.

"We opted to rest him [Mata] last time and we haven't found a place for him in the squad now. We have a quantity problem rather than a quality problem," Del Bosque stated at a press conference.

"Will we use Javi Martinez in defense or in midfield? He is an option in both positions. We will use him in the way that suits the team best."

Spain travels to Belarus on October 12, before hosting France four days later.

The reigning champions have collected three points from one game so far after beating Georgia 1-0.

Full squad:

Name Club
Iker Casillas Real Madrid
Victor Valdes Barcelona
Jose Manuel Reina Liverpool
Raul Albiol Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos Real Madrid
Juanfran Atletico Madrid
Alvaro Arbeloa Real Madrid
Ignacio Monreal Malaga
Jordi Alba Barcelona
Sergio Busquets Barcelona
Xabi Alonso Real Madrid
Cesc Fabregas Barcelona
Andres Iniesta Barcelona
Xavi Hernandez Barcelona
Benat Etxebarria Real Betis
Javi Martinez Bayern Munich
Santi Cazorla Arsenal
David Silva Manchester City
Pedro Barcelona
Jesus Navas Sevilla
Roberto Soldado Valencia
David Villa Barcelona
Fernando Torres Chelsea


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