Spain head coach, Luis Enrique has announced his 26-man squad for the World Cup with Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Ramos, Manchester United’s David de Gea and Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara being the star names to miss out.
Ramos, 36, was a key member of Spain squad which won the World Cup in 2010, and had hoped to make the Qatar World Cup his fifth appearance at the tournament.
Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara also missed out with the bouts of fitness issues he has had to suffer this season.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea had earlier been excluded in Spain’s provisional squad, with Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Brentford’s David Raya favoured ahead of him.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is another major name that failed to make the squad.
The surprise inclusion in the list is that of Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati.
Manchester City pair Aymeric Laporte and Rodri,, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and forwards Ferran Torres and Alvaro Morata, formerly of City and Chelsea respectively, expected to lead the attack.
De Gea has fallen out of favour with Luis Enrique, who said in March he “wanted to test other goalkeepers”, and Thiago saw his role diminish with the rise of the Barcelona teenagers Pedri and Gavi.
“Youth gives you freedom because you are not yet aware of the consequences,” Luis Enrique said. “Yet most of the youngsters that are with us are already in high-level teams. The bar that I’m setting is infinity.
The former Barcelona coach said he had never had any doubts about whether he was the best man for the job. “How can I doubt myself? I am the best coach on the face of the earth,” he said. “If I have to convince my players I have to be convinced myself … There is no better coach than me. I know it’s not true, but I believe it. Doubts? None!”
“I’m not going to change to get to the World Cup. This is Luis Enrique’s team. We’re not going to die of fear. There’s no doubt about what you’re going to see in Spain.
See Full squad below…
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford).
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid).
Forwards: Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
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