Vicente del Bosque named his initial 30-man World Cup squad with injured trio Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas included. He wants to give all three the most amount of time possible to prove their fitness and all three are undoubtedly key players for the manager. Xavi Hernandez has been struggling for fitness of late as well, but he's back in the first team fold at Barcelona and is on target to make it.
Del Bosque names five goalkeepers with Atlético youngster David de Gea battling with Diego Lopez and Victor Valdes to join Iker Casillas and Jose Reina on the plane. Even just getting on the plane will be a minor victory for Sevilla winger Jesus Navas. He suffers from travel anxiety - Dennis Bergkamp Syndrome - but has been undergoing treatment. The only other option may be to slip him a mickey finn.
Nine forwards are named and competition here is especially fierce. Torres, if fit, and David Villa are the pick, but there's plenty of competition from the likes of Juan Mata, the uncapped Pedro and Fernando Llorente. Llorente's 21-year old club-mate Javi Martinez is named in midfield and there are four overseas-based players, the aforementioned Fabregas, Torres and Reina plus Fenerbahce's Dani Guiza.
This is a very strong squad. No wonder they're favourites to go all the way. There are very few weak links and quality players like Santi Cazorla, Marcos Senna and David Silva are not guaranteed to make the final cut. If they can leave that standard of player behind, it sends out a clear message.
The squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David De Gea (Atletico Madrid), Diego Lopez (Villarreal), Jose Reina (Liverpool) Victor Valdes (Barcelona).
Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) Cesar Azpilicueta (Osasuna), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergi Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao) Marcos Senna (Villarreal), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi (Barcelona).
Forwards: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia) Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Dani Guiza (Fenerbache) Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia).