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FRIDAY, June 09, 2023
Fati in but Thiago and De Gea left out of Spain World Cup squad

Fati in but Thiago and De Gea left out of Spain World Cup squad

SATURDAY, November 12, 2022

Spain coach Luis Enrique included Barcelona's Ansu Fati but left out Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea from his 26-man World Cup squad on Friday (November 11).

Fati, now 20, made his international debut in 2020 at 17 and in his second game became the youngest player to score for Spain, breaking a record held since 1925 by Juan Errazquien.

But the forward is fighting his way back from four surgeries to repair an injury to his left knee, suffered in November 2020.

"He was one of our last question marks. I was uncertain until the last minute, but I picked him because his technical qualities are amazing and being here with us could work as a big motivator for him as he's still working to get back to peak form," Enrique told a news conference in Las Rozas, a suburb of Madrid.

"It's a process that he's going through to become the Ansu Fati that he was before the injury.

"Surely it could be assessed when he will recover his previous level. It is one of the things we all look for."

Luis Enrique declined to comment on the players who were left out, but the absence of veterans like De Gea, Thiago and Barcelona defender Marcos Alonso points to the manager's preference to go all-in with Spain's new generation of talent.

De Gea has fallen out of favour with Luis Enrique who said in March he "wanted to test other goalkeepers" and Thiago saw his role diminish with the rise of Barca teenagers Pedri, 19, and 18-year-old Gavi.

"Youth gives you freedom because you are not yet aware of the consequences," Luis Enrique said. "Yet, most of the youngsters that are with us are already in high-level teams."

"The bar that I'm setting is infinity. My goal is to compete in every game."

"There's no one outside of Spain who rules out Spain as a candidate to be among the best. We are going to cause problems, there is no doubt."

Spain have been drawn in Group E with Costa Rica, Germany and Japan.

Spain coach Luis Enrique included Barcelona


Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford).

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona)

Spain Squad World Cup 2022 / via Selección Española de Fútbol (SeFutbol)