Monday, November 28, 2022

De Dea, Thiago out as Spain release 26-man World Cup squad

Coach Enrique declined to comment on the players who were left out.

• November 11, 2022
Spain national team

Spain have released its 26-man roster for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup with veterans Thiago Alcantara and David de Gea the major absentees while there was room for youngster Ansu Fati.

The team list was announced on Friday.

Barcelona forward Fati made his debut for Spain at 17 but his inclusion is a surprise given that he is just fighting his way back from four surgeries to repair an injury to his left knee, suffered in November 2020.

“He was one of our last question marks. I doubted until the last minute.

”But I decided for him because his technical qualities are amazing and being here with us could work as a big motivation for him as he’s still working to get back to peak form,” Spain coach Luis Enrique told a news conference.

“It’s a process that he’s going through, to become the Ansu Fati that he was before the injury.

“Surely it could be assessed when he will recover his previous level. It is one of the things we all look for.”

Enrique declined to comment on the players who were left out.

But the absence of veterans like De Gea, Thiago and FC Barcelona defender Marcos Alonso points to the manager’s preference to go all-in with Spain’s new generation of talent.

De Gea has fallen out of favour with Enrique who said in March he “wanted to test other goalkeepers.”

Also, Thiago saw his role diminish with the rise of Barca teenagers Pedri, 19, and 18-year-old Gavi.

“Youth gives you freedom because you are not yet aware of the consequences,” 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. My goal is to compete in every game.

“There’s no one outside of Spain who rules out Spain as a candidate to be among the best. We are going to give war, there is no doubt.”

Spain have been drawn in Group E with Costa Rica, Germany and Japan.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford).

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St-Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Ferran Torres (FC 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 (FC Barcelona)

(Reuters/NAN)

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