Spain Boss: Why I Snubbed Morata For The World Cup
Spain Boss: Why I Snubbed Chelsea Striker Alvaro Morata For The 2018 FIFA World Cup
Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has admitted it was not an easy decision to leave Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata out of his 23-man squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Click through the gallery above to see some other players who were snubbed for a place in Spain’s World Cup squad.
The 51-year-old coach snubbed the former Real Madrid star and instead named Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno Machado, and former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas, who scored 22 goals for Celta Vigo in La Liga this season, as his forwards for the tournament.
Lopetegui has since explained that he did not want to take four strikers to the tournament, and insisted it was "painful" to leave out someone like Morata.
"They are tough moments for a player. It is not nice, he deserved to be here," Lopetegui said at a news conference, according to FourFourTwo.
"I have an important opinion, and it is painful, but I have made the decision.
"I have spoken with those I had to talk to, I am not going to name anybody. I have had various doubts. To make a list of 23 is a difficult decision.
"We have opted for three other teammates who have different conditions. Taking four players in that position is not something we wanted to do. It is a footballing decision.
"It is the most bitter taste to leave someone out. They deserve to be there, but they could not get in. They helped us, and they cannot be here. We have chosen those who can help us the most in this fantastic adventure.
"Iago can play centrally and out wide, Rodrigo can play in three areas and always has a great attitude with the team. Diego Costa brings a lot of competitiveness."
Morata, who was Spain's joint top goalscorer in their World Cup qualifying campaign, scored only 11 league goals for Chelsea all season, and only one of those came in 2018.
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