Spain striker David Villa has been given extra time to prove his fitness for the European Championship after coach Vicente del Bosque decided to delay the announcement of the defending champions’ final squad to May 27.
Del Bosque was originally set to reveal his 23-man squad on May 23, but he said that the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao two days after that date led to the change. Final squads must be submitted to UEFA by May 29.
“I spoke to [Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola] yesterday and he told me how [Villa] is. It is our obligation and conviction to wait on him until the last moment,” Del Bosque said at an event hosted by Europa Press news agency. Villa has yet to play for Barcelona since undergoing leg surgery in December, and the club has only two league games remaining before the cup final.
Del Bosque said he will announce a preliminary squad on May 20 before Spain’s pre-tournament camp in Austria from May 22-29, with the internationals from Barcelona and Athletic joining the players on the final day. The coach said that if he selects players from Chelsea -- the club of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata -- they will join the squad on May 25, six days after playing in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.