Valdes replaces Casillas as starting Spanish goalkeeper vs. Belarus


Benched by Real Madrid last season, Iker Casillas finally lost his job as Spain's starting goalkeeper, too.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (AP) -- Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has chosen goalkeeper Victor Valdes over captain Iker Casillas for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Casillas has been Spain's regular starter for years and helped the team achieve its unprecedented run of two straight European championships and the 2010 World Cup.

Del Bosque had stuck with Casillas despite the goalkeeper being reduced to a backup at Real Madrid by Jose Mourinho last season, a decision largely maintained by new Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti this season.

Spain assistant coach Toni Grande tells Telecinco television "we have the great fortune to count on three great goalkeepers. There is nothing more to it.''

In another surprising move, Del Bosque is starting Swansea forward Miguel "Michu'' Perez in his first international game.

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