Soldado scores 3 as Spain routs Venezuela 5-0


MALAGA, Spain (AP) -- Roberto Soldado scored a hat trick in his long-awaited international return as Spain thrashed Venezuela 5-0 on Wednesday in its final friendly before coach Vicente del Bosque picks his European Championship squad.

With all-time leading scorer David Villa injured and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres dropped from the squad for the first time in five years, Spain looked to its talented midfield to put the team on its way to a 24th straight home victory.

Cesc Fabregas set up goals by Andres Iniesta and David Silva before halftime, and Soldado added three more in his first appearance for the national team since 2007.

Spain has won all four matches against Venezuela.