Luis Enrique has picked his first squad as Spain national team manager for the upcoming Nations League games against England and World Cup runners up Croatia.
The notable absentees from the list include usual first choice left back Jordi Alba, as well as Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas.
Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta announced their retirements from international football after the country were disappointingly knocked out of the World Cup in the Round of 16 Stage against hosts Russia. Players from the squad chosen by Julen Lopetegui who have also been dropped by Luis Enrique include Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, Pepe Reina and Real Madrid duo Alvaro Odriozola and Lucas Vazquez.
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Alvaro Morata return to the national side, joined by new teammate Kepa. Other newcomers to the team are Real Betis keeper Pau Lopez, Valencia’s Jose Gaya, Real Sociedad’s Diego Llorente and Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos.
During his final year as Barcelona manager, Enrique chose to play with a three-man defence, resulting in Jordi Alba missing out on game time. It isn’t known if there has been a fall out between the defender and Enrique, but Alba did state that he was happy to be reinstalled into Barcelona’s starting line-up following Ernesto Valverde’s arrival as Lucho’s replacement. Alba’s team mates Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are the only two Barcelona players to be named in Enrique’s squad.
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Kepa, Pau Lopez
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Cesar Azpilicueta, Raul Albiol, Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Diego Llorente, Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Jose Gaya
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Rodri, Saul, Thiago, Dani Ceballos, Isco
Forwards: Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa, Suso, Rodrigo