Just football

Spain announce 23-man World Cup squad with Alvaro Morata missing

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Spain have announced their official 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia with Alvaro Morata missing out.

Morata, who scored 11 goals in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, featured heavily for the national side in qualifying and ended as the joint-top goalscorer with five goals. 

Morata’s Blues team-mates Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas join Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin in also missing out on selection.

Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal was favoured ahead of Marcos Alonso in the left-back position, despite the Chelsea defender featuring for the national side during the most recent international break in March.

Six Real Madrid players have been called up by head coach Julen Lopetegui, including captain Sergio Ramos and promising youngster Marco Asensio.

Other notable omissions were Chelsea’s Pedro, Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto and Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez.

There is room for Brazilian-born ex-Chelsea forward Diego Costa, Valencia’s Rodrigo and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas. 

Despite his omission from the squad, the former Real Madrid striker went on Twitter to wish his countrymen “lots of luck” in the tournament.

“Including four players up front was not something we wanted to do,” said manager Lopetegui.

“We have opted for three other players who had different assets.”

Spain’s World Cup starts on 15th June with a huge Group B clash against the European Championship winners, Portugal.

Spain squad:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao).

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid).

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