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READ MY MIND: BARÇA + FRIENDS = SPAIN

Vicente del Bosque, Spain's current football coach, announced his 23-man selection for the 2010 World Cup yesterday. He was brave and announced the names everyone was hoping for: Casillas, Reina, Valdés, Albiol, Arbeloa, Capdevila, Marchena, Piqué, Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Busquets, Cesc, Iniesta, Javi Martínez, Silva, Xavi, Navas, Mata, Pedro, Llorente, Fernando Torres and Villa.

You can analyse Del Bosque's list in many interesting ways. For me, it is obvious that he has based his Spanish team around FC Barcelona's ideas and playing style. If you look at the names closely enough, you will realise that eight of them play for Barça already - And you can add Cesc Fabregas in there as well, as he will be an FCB player soon, hopefully. Let's face it: As a manager, if you have Puyol, Pique, Xavi, Iniesta and Villa in your team, you just have to build the team around them.

Some people consider the inclusion of Pedro and Valdes in Del Bosque's list 'A surprise'. Well, I honestly don't find that surprising at all!

PR17 has been key to the most successful team in Spain this year, scoring 23 goals during his first season as a professional. He has pace, confidence and that hard-to-explain 'little bit extra': Pedro has proven to be outstanding under pressure, scoring title-winning goals in more than one occasion. Del Bosque may not use him in the starting line-up, but he will definitely cause an impact as a second-half substitute.

As for Valdes, I think it is only fair that the goalkeeper with the best record in La Liga gets called up for the World Cup. Victor has performed at a much higher level than both Casillas and Reina this year, but that doesn't mean that he will play a single minute in South Africa: Expect seeing our beloved Barça goalie to sitting on the bench looking pretty miserable. In my opinion, Victor has done enough to deserve to be Spain's Number 1. The reality is, Del Bosque will always prefer Casillas over him based on Iker's extensive international experience.

Anyway, it's time to be positive about La Roja: Let's not forget that the core of the team hasn't changed much since Euro 2008 - And we all know what happened then, don't we?

Will Valdes get any playing time in South Africa?
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