Jordi Alba celebrates scoring for the national team

Vicente del Bosque on Friday announced his 25-man squad for Spain’s upcoming friendlies against Italy and Romania, which includes five players from FC Barcelona.

The first game will be against Italy on 24 March in Udinese followed by a trip to Cluj to face Romania on the 27th.

Gerard Piqué, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto all made the cut while the latter earns his first ever senior call-up. Munir El Haddadi’s recent good form makes him a shoe-in for the U21 side who take on Croatia and Norway.

Ivan Rakitic will be on duty for Croatia for matches against Israel and Hungary while  Thomas Vermaelen’s Belgium face Portugual. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been called up for Germany for friendlies against England and Italy, Mathieu returns to the French squad to take on Holland and Russia while Turkish captain Arda Turan faces Sweden and Austria.

South American stars clash in qualifiers

Javier Mascherano and Leo Messi will take on Claudio Bravo’s Chile before a clash with Bolivia in 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The Barça keeper also faces Venezuela. Brazilian duo Neymar Jr and Dani Alves also face a club teammate in Luis Suárez against Uruguay, followed Paraguay. Suárez’s second qualifier is against Peru.

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