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World Cup 2018: LaLiga players heading to Russia

With the World Cup soon approaching, countries around the world have finalised their squads, following the 4th June deadline.

While some nations chose to select their final sides early, there were still a few who left it late to announce their 23 players earning a seat on the plane to Russia.

Spain manager Julen Lopetegui chose a largely LaLiga-based squad, but here we take a look at all the players playing their football in the Iberian country.

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez will be the main attacking threat for Uruguay

Group A

Russia: Villarreal’s Denis Cheryshev has been included in the host nation’s 23-man squad and will probably start for Stanislav Cherchesov’s side in the tournament’s first match against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: In a bid to boost their chances in Russia, Saudi Arabia loaned nine players to Spanish clubs. Of those, three have been picked in their final World Cup squad.

Villarreal winger Salem Al-Dawsari made one league appearance for the Yellow Submarine, while Fahad Al-Muwallad played twice for Levante in LaLiga. While Yahya Al-Shehri failed to get any minutes at Leganés, he will looking to add to his 56 caps at the World Cup.

Egypt: The Pharaohs have not selected any Spanish-based players in their 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.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to win a second major tournament trophy with Portugal

Group B

Spain: Unsurprisingly, La Roja has plenty of LaLiga players in their squad. Just six of their players spent last season plying their trade outside of Spain.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Chelsea’s César Azpilicueta, Nacho Monreal from Arsenal and Manchester City’s midfield maestro David Silva were all in England.

In Germany, Thiago Alcantara was at Bayern Munich, while Pepe Reina has been at Italian side Napoli since 2015.

While Andres Iniesta won the LaLiga and Copa del Rey titles at Barcelona last season, he is now technically at Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe.

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.

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

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

There are also places for Girona goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Numancia’s shot-stopper Munir Mohamedi and Malaga striker Youssef En-Nesyri.

Iran: Team Melli will have no LaLiga players in Russia, but their head coach, Carlos Queiroz, is a former manager at Real Madrid.

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Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann will be hoping to succeed where they failed at the 2016 European Championships

Group C

France: Always among the bookies’ favourites to win a tournament, Didier Deschamps has continued to leave Karim Benzema out of his squad, with former Athletic Bilbao 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.

Australia: The Socceroos will not be taking any Spanish-based players to Russia, but former Valencia goalkeeper Matthew Ryan is expected to be their first-choice shot-stopper.

Peru: The South Americans have reached the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, but Granada’s attacking midfielder, Sergio Peña, will not be heading to Russia, after missing the final cut.

With the country’s rare qualification, captain Paolo Guerrero has been given a reprieve and will be allowed to play after having his doping ban frozen.

Denmark: Sevilla’s Simon Kjaer has been named captain for Åge Hareide’s World Cup squad. Joining Kjaer in the squad are , Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto as well as Deportivo’s Michael Krohn-Dehli.

Although selected in the preliminary side, Real Betis’ Riza Durmisi and Sisto’s club team-mate Daniel Wass failed to make the cut.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi will be looking to go one better with Argentina, following their World Cup final defeat four years ago

Group D

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, while Sevilla duo Ever Banega and Gabriel Mercado also make the final 23-man squad, but team-mate Guido Pizarro misses out.

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.

Iceland: The isolated European country have no LaLiga representation in their squad.

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.

Nigeria: Las Palmas’ Oghenekaro Etebo is the leading La Liga representative in Gernot Rohr’s 23-man squad. Francis Uzoho, a goalkeeper for Deportivo’s reserve side Deportivo Fabril, is also in the side.

Ex-Barcelona forward Neymar will be Brazil’s main goalscoring outlet as they look to become Champions for the sixth time

Group E

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.

Switzerland: The Swiss have just one LaLiga representative heading to Russia, with Deportivo La Coruña defender Fabian Schär in the 23-man squad.

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.

Serbia: The Eagles have two La Liga players in their final 23-man squad, with Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović while Villarreal defender Antonio Rukavina will be hoping to make his first World Cup appearance, after failing to get onto the pitch in South Africa eight years ago.

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Yet, there was a surprise omission for Valencia midfielder Nemanja Maksimović, who will not be on the plane to Russia, despite initially being selected.

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos and his German teammates will look to become the first side to retain the World Cup since Brazil did in 1962

Group F

Germany: The current World Cup holders include two La Liga stars in a strong 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-Stegen shall be competing for game time against two of the best goalkeepers in the world, Manuel Neuer and Kevin Trapp.

Mexico: Juan Carlos Osorio has included three La Liga players in his final squad. Real Betis’ Andres Guardado captains the squad, with Real Sociedad’s Hector Moreno and Miguel Layun of Sevilla also in the team.

Getafe’s Oswaldo Alanis was selected in the initial side, but failed to make the cut.

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.

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.

South Korea: The Asian country have not chosen any LaLiga players for their squad.

Real Sociedad’s Adnan Januzaj will be hoping for game time in Belgium’s star studded squad

Group G:

Belgium: Roberto Martinez has selected two Spain-based players for his final World Cup squad, with Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen and Adnan Januzaj of Real Sociedad both earning a seat on the plane to Russia.

England: The Three Lions have no LaLiga representatives in their squad.

Tunisia: The African nation have not selected any Spanish-based players.

Panama: Another Deportivo Fabril player, Ismael Diaz, has been included in Panama’s first-ever World Cup squad.

Real Madrid and Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez, currently on loan at Bayern Munich, won the Golden Boot four years ago

Group H

Poland: The Eagles have not chosen any LaLiga players for their squad, but Real Madrid target Robert Lewandowski will be leading the line for Poland.

Senegal: There will be no LaLiga representation from Senegal, but ex-Real Betis and Villarreal Alfred N’Diaye will be in attendance.

Colombia: José Pékerman has selected seven LaLiga players in his final 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 star  Johan Mojica are joined by Barcelona’s Yerry Mina in the selected defenders’ list.

But Mojica’s club team-mate Bernardo Espinoza has missed the cut.

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 Real Betis winger Takashi Inui, who recently joined from Eibar, and Getafe’s Gaku Shibasaki being selected for their final 23-man squad.

Leeds United midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi, who spent last season on loan at Segunda Division side Cultural Leonesa, was in the preliminary team but was one of four players dropped and will not be going to Russia.

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