I'm not a big fan of international football at the best of times, and meaningless friendlies just before the season starts definitely aren't 'the best of times'. With Spain due to play against Ecuador in South America on August 14th, there was a real worry that the Blues' Spanish contingent wouldn't be able to get back to England in time to play a meaningful part in the Premier League's opening weekend against Hull City.
Happily, Spain have opted not to bring all three senior Chelsea players into the setup for said friendly. Cesar Azpilicueta will be travelling, but Fernando Torres -- and most importantly, Juan Mata -- will be left at home, allowing them to prepare for the season in peace:
OFICIAL 1/3 |Convocatoria Selección española / Spain´s call up: Casillas, Reina, V.Valdés, Arbeloa, Azpilicueta, I.Martínez, Albiol, S.Ramos— Selección Española (@SeFutbol) August 9, 2013
OFICIAL 2/3 |Convocatoria Selección española / Spain´s call up: J. Alba, J. Martínez, Cazorla, Iniesta, Isco, Thiago, Koke, J. Navas, Silva— Selección Española (@SeFutbol) August 9, 2013
OFICIAL 3/3 |Convocatoria Selección española / Spain´s call up: Cesc Fábregas, Negredo, Fernando Llorente y Cristian Tello— Selección Española (@SeFutbol) August 9, 2013
This is good news indeed. The club need to get the year started on the right note, and having the reigning Chelsea player of the year fully rested and ready to go could make a big difference if the Tigers prove to be more difficult opposition than expected.