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World Cup 2018: La Liga players heading to Russia so far

With the World Cup soon approaching, countries around the world have this week announced their provisional squads for the tournament, due to kick off in Moscow on June 14th.

All nations must submit their final 23-man squads by June 4th, but some have decided to finalise it earlier.

Having predicted who Julen Lopetegui will select for the Spanish national squad, we now take a look at which La Liga players have been confirmed to represent their nation in next month’s showcase.


ARGENTINA

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Ecuador in the country’s last qualifying match to ensure they reached the World Cup.

Jorge Sampaoli has selected the 30-year-old as his captain and has also selected Sevilla trio Ever Banega, Guido Pizarro and Gabriel Mercado for his 32-man squad.

There are a host of former La Liga stars in Sampaoli’s team including Javier Mascherano, Willy Caballero, Angel Di Maria and strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero.


BRAZIL

Tite has included five La Liga players in his final 23-man squad for the tournament. Barcelona duo Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho are included, as are left-backs Marcelo and Filipe Luis, and Real Madrid’s Casemiro.

Former Barca star Neymar has also been included, having missed the past couple of months with a fractured metatarsal.


COLOMBIA

José Pékerman has selected eight La Liga players in his extended preliminary squad. Luis Muriel and Carlos Bacca are part of a strong attacking line-up which also includes former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.

Espanyol’s Carlos Sanchez and Levante’s Jefferson Lerma are in the midfield, while Real Madrid loanee James Rodriguez has also been selected following his impressive spell at Bayern Munich. Girona duo Bernardo Espinoza and Johan Mojica are joined by Barcelona’s Yerry Mina in the selected defenders list.


COSTA RICA

Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas is one of four La Liga players that have been selected for Oscar Ramirez’s World Cup squad. Espanyol’s Oscar Duarte, Deportivo’s Celso Borges and Real Betis loanee Joel Campbell are also in the Costa Rican side.

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CROATIA

Always a strong outfit in summer tournaments, Zlatko Dalić has included four La Liga players in his preliminary squad. Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko is in, as are midfield trio Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic.


DENMARK

Sevilla’s Simon Kjaer has been named captain for Åge Hareide’s World Cup squad. Joining Kjaer in the squad are Real Betis’ Riza Durmisi, Celta Vigo duo Pione Sisto and Daniel Wass as well as Deportivo’s Michael Krohn-Dehli.


FRANCE

Always amongst the bookies’ favourites to win a tournament, Didier Deschamps has continued to leave Karim Benzema out of his squad, with former Real Sociedad defender Aymeric Laporte and Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder also missing the cut.

Ben Yedder’s team mate Steven N’Zonzi has sealed his place in the squad however. Joining the former Blackburn midfielder are Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, Barcelona duo Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele and recent Europa League winners Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann.


GERMANY

The current World Cup holders include two La Liga stars in a strong provisional World Cup squad. Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos is included in a midfield which also features former Los Blancos player Mesut Ozil.

Barcelona’s Marc Andre Ter-Steigen shall be competing for game time against three of the best goalkeepers in the world, Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp.


JAPAN

The Samurai Blue have been regular participants at World Cups since 1998, having reached the Last 16 twice in that time.

Yet, they will be looking to go further, with Eibar’s Takashi Inui and Gaku Shibasaki of Getafe being selected for their preliminary squad. Outside of La Liga, Yosuke Ideguchi from Segunda Division side Cultural Leonesa has also been called up to the 27-man squad.


MEXICO

Juan Carlos Osorio has included four La Liga players in his 28-man preliminary squad. Real Betis’ Andres Guardado captains the squad, with Real Sociedad’s Hector Moreno, Miguel Layun of Sevilla and Getafe’s Oswaldo Alanis also in the team.

La Liga followers will also note that the dos Santos brothers, Giovani and Jonathan, as well as Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez are also included in the squad.

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MOROCCO

The African nation has qualified for their first World Cup in 20 years and have included five Spanish-based players.

Nordin Amrabat, who has played for Leganes this season, is joined by Getafe’s Faycal Fajr, Real Madrid youngster Achraf Hakimi, Girona’s Yassine Bounou and Numancia’s Munir Mohamedi.

Malaga striker Youssef En-Nesyri unfortunately misses the cut for Herve Renard’s 23-man squad, having scored his first professional goal against Eibar this season.


NIGERIA

Las Palmas’ Oghenekaro Etebo is the leading La Liga representative in Gernot Rohr’s 30-man preliminary squad. Francis Uzoho, a goalkeeper for Deportivo’s reserve side Deportivo Fabril, is also in the squad.


PANAMA

Francis Uzoho’s teammate at Deportivo Fabril, Ismael Diaz has been included in Panama’s first-ever World Cup squad.


PORTUGAL

The current European Championship holders will be looking to get through to the knockout rounds next month having been sent home early in the last World Cup held in Brazil four years ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo captains Fernando Santos’ squad, and is joined by Valencia loanee Gonçalo Guedes as the only La Liga representatives in the now-confirmed World Cup squad.

Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo, as well as Getafe’s Vitorino Antunes and Valencia’s Joao Cancelo and Nani have all missed out in joining Santos’ 23-man team.


RUSSIA

Villarreal’s Denis Cheryshev has been included in the host nation’s 28-man preliminary squad and will probably start for Stanislav Cherchesov’s side in the tournament’s first match against Saudi Arabia.


SWEDEN

Alaves’ John Guidetti has been included in Janne Andersson’s World Cup squad. Although it was heavily publicised that he will be at the tournament, former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not been added to the squad.


URUGUAY

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin captains Oscar Tabarez’s World Cup squad and is joined by his Atleti teammate Jose Gimenez in defence.

Three of the four strikers selected all play in La Liga, with Girona’s Cristhian Stuani and Celta’s Maxi Gomez joining Luis Suarez in the list. Deportivo’s Federico Valverde has also been included in the squad.

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