Spain boss Luis Enrique has named his 26-man squad for the World Cup, with no place for Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Ramos or Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara.
Former Real Madrid defender Ramos, 36, was part of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad in 2010 and had hoped to feature in his fifth tournament, but missed out on the trip to Qatar despite pleading with Enrique to select him.
“Everyone knows what it means to me to play for Spain,” Ramos said last week.
“I feel good, I am available, but it is a decision that does not depend on me, but on the coach.
“I have a lot of respect for him. I can only continue to play and wait. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in another World Cup.”
However, Enrique rejected these pleas and named a mostly young group for the tournament.
After revealing his squad, Enrique said: “I will not change to get to the World Cup. This is Luis Enrique’s team. We will not die of fear. There is no doubt what you are going to see in Spain.
“These are our qualities. Then the result, it is impossible to predict. It is the vision that we will see in Qatar and it is practically impossible to predict if that will be enough for us.”
Liverpool star Thiago also misses out having suffered fitness issues this season, while Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is also not included.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea hadn’t even been included in Spain’s provisional squad, but Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Brentford’s David Raya will head to Qatar.
Manchester City pair Aymeric Laporte and Rodri, and Chelsea veteran Cesar Azpilicueta are in the squad, with forwards Ferran Torres and Alvaro Morata, formerly of City and Chelsea respectively, also included.
Young Barcelona forward Ansu Fati has been included by Enrique, while Athletic Bilbao’s 20-year-old forward Nico Williams is also in.
On Fati, who has suffered injuries this season, Enrique said: “It has been one of the doubts until the last minute. We bet on him before others.
“Ansu’s level is unquestionable. He has gone through a difficult process. I had doubts until the last second. The illusion that I have has influenced in recovering the best Ansu.
“Is he close? Yes? No? We’ll see about this. He has played more at his club but it’s not fixed. I think it can be a great stimulus to return to a place like this, but they are doubts. clear. We will see it during the World Cup”
The full squad is:
GOALKEEPERS: Unai Simón, Robert Sánchez, David Raya
DEFENDERS: Dani Carvajal, César Azpilicueta, Eric García, Hugo Guillamón, Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Jose Gayá
MIDFIELDERS: Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Marcos Llorente, Pedri, Koke
FORWARDS: Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Yeremy Pino, Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Nico Williams, Ansu Fati, Dani Olmo