Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas was included in coach Jorge Vilda’s 23-player squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup, along with three of the 15 players who protested against the country’s federation.
Putellas will play at the World Cup, which kicks off on July 20, after the Barcelona player was forced to sit out the European Championship last year, having injured her knee on the eve of the tournament.
Twice Ballon d’Or winner Putellas underwent surgery in July last year and, after nine months of recovery, returned to action at the end of April with Barcelona. The 29-year-old has more than 100 caps for Spain.
In September, 15 Spain players threatened to quit the national team in a protest against Vilda and complained to the Spanish federation about their issues with the coach’s handling of team training and selection, as well as the locker room atmosphere.
Vilda then left those exiled players out of his squad for friendlies against Sweden and the United States, but while naming his provisional World Cup squad last month, he called up Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmati and Ona Batlle.
The Barcelona trio retained their spots in the 23-player squad list that was named by Vilda on Friday.
Elene Lete, Jana Fernandez, Fiamma Benitez, Inma Gabarro, Maite Oroz and Alba Redondo were the players left out by Vilda from the initial list, while Sheila Garcia had dropped out of the provisional squad through injury.
Among the key players who were not selected by Vilda were Barcelona’s Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon and Sandra Panos.
Third World Cup
Spain will be playing at only their third World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after reaching the last 16 in 2019 and the group stage in 2015.
Spain, who were eliminated by eventual winners U.S. in the last edition, are in Group C this year with Zambia, Costa Rica and Japan.
They defeated Panama 7-0 in a friendly earlier this week and are due to face Denmark next week before flying to New Zealand for their World Cup campaign.
Spain squad for the World Cup:
Goalkeepers: Cata Coll, Misa Rodriguez, Enith Salon
Defenders: Ivana Andres, Ona Batlle, Olga Carmona, Laia Codina, Rocio Galvez, Oihane Hernandez, Irene Paredes
Midfielders: Tere Abelleira, Aitana Bonmati, Irene Guerrero, Jenni Hermoso, Maria Perez, Alexia Putellas, Claudia Zornoza
Forwards: Mariona Caldentey, Athenea del Castillo, Esther Gonzalez, Eva Navarro, Salma Paralluelo, Alba Redondo.
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