Record scorer Villa gets 1st Spain call-up since 2014

Spain's record goalscorer David Villa has been handed a shock recall for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Liechtenstein at the age of 35.

The New York City FC player was included in a 26-man squad by coach Julen Lopetegui that will host Italy on Sept. 2 and visit Liechtenstein on Sept. 5 in another qualifier.

Villa is the top scorer in the MLS this season with 19 goals. He is Spain's all-time record scorer with 59 international goals.

"I'm moved," Villa said on his social media accounts. "Thanks to everyone who have faith in me and gave me this opportunity to wear this jersey again."

The former Barcelona forward has 97 international appearances with Spain, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, but has not featured for Spain since they were dumped out of the 2014 World Cup in the group stages. Villa fills the void among the strikers left by Diego Costa, who hasn't played for Chelsea this season and is currently in his native Brazil after being told he is not part of the English team's plans.

Lopetegui said Costa was left out because he "is going through a different summer, without being able to practice," but his situation would be further evaluated in the future.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), KepaArrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao).

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund), Nacho (Real Madrid), DaniCarvajal (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Isco (Real Madrid), ThiagoAlcantara (Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Suso (AC Milan), David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid).

Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona), Vitolo (Las Palmas), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea), Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea), David Villa (New York City).