Xavi, other Barca players out of squad

Given a rest for trip to Caribbean to play Puerto Rico

17:29 August 11, 2012

Madrid: Spain will be without key midfielder Xavi Hernandez and three other Barcelona players against Puerto Rico on Wednesday in their first match since retaining the European Championship title.

Coach Vicente del Bosque will give the 32-year-old midfielder a break rather than have him travel to the Caribbean country for the match.

David Villa, Carles Puyol and Jordi Alba are the other Barcelona players left out of the world champions’ 19-player squad as the Spanish club prepares for the upcoming season.

Villa and Puyol are recovering from injuries, while Alba played for Spain at Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.

Del Bosque says Spain’s exit from the Olympics was surprising, “but the team wasn’t playing well.”

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo was also left out.