[SPAIN] Pedro unseated Thierry Henry from the starting lineup at Barcelona. Now
can he make his way into the starting lineup for World Cup favorite Spain? Pedro, 22, was one of three uncapped Spaniards picked for the trip to South Africa.
Pedro, who scored 22 goals in all competitions for Barcelona this season, will be in familiar company. He was one of nine Barca players picked by Vicente del Bosque. Another player, David Villa, will join Barca from Valencia this summer in a $49 million transfer.
Born on the island of Tenerife, Pedro joined Barcelona's youth system at the age of 17. He split time between Barca and its "B" team the last two seasons but was instrumental in its run to six titles in 2009.
Pedro, the first player to score in six different club competitions during a single season, had perhaps his biggest goal of the year in April when his second goal sealed Barca's 2-0 win at Real Madrid -- which proved to be the difference in the 2010 La Liga race.
Besides Pedro, goalie Victor Valdes, his Barca teammate, and 21-year-old Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao were the other uncapped players to be picked.
Spain heads into the final stages of preparations for the World Cup with concerns about the fitness of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
"We have a very vigilant recovery program for them," said Del Bosque. "All the information we've received has been positive and they should be 100 percent for the tournament."
Also injured has been Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta.
One player who didn't make the cut was Brazilian-born midfielder Marcos Senna, a stalwart in Spain's Euro 2008 campaign. He, too, struggled because of injuries and saw only limited action at Villarreal.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).
Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi (Barcelona).
Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia).