Chelsea duo Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso missed out as Spain coach Julen Lopetegui announced his 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Morata, Spain’s most expensive player in history – has seen his place in the team threatened by a sensational loss of form in 2018, sparking fears he won’t be on the plane to Russia.
While the axing of Morata was somewhat expected, Alonso on the other hand was on sparkling form for Chelsea last season and had genuine hopes of making the 23-man team seeing as he was also selected to the PFA team of the Year.
But the elegant left-back was dropped in favour of Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, another top performer in the recently concluded Premier League campaign.
La Furja Roja have been drawn in Group B alongside Portugal, Morocco and Iran at Russia 2018, and will begin their preparations for the showpiece with a friendly against Switzerland on 3 June, before facing Tunisia on 9 June.
It’s still a star-studded squad for Spain, who will be hoping to make up for the dismal defence of their World Cup title in 2014.
The Complete Squad
Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao)
Defenders: Nacho Fernandez, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (all Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both FC Barcelona), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (both Chelsea)
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (both FC Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Isco, Marco Asensio (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City)
Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid).
They begin their World Cup against Euro 2016 winners and close neighbours, Portugal on 15 June.