Spain's World Cup Snubbed XI
Spain's 2018 FIFA World Cup Snubbed XI
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui recently announced his 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and left out some big names. Here is a strong starting line-up made up of Spanish stars who were not selected for the World Cup in Russia.
Click through the gallery above to see a strong Spain XI of players who were snubbed for their World Cup squad.
The 51-year-old announced his squad for the showpiece in Russia on Monday, and opted to select his final 23 names for the tournament instead of calling up a preliminary squad. He would have had until 4 June to cut down to his final selection but decided against doing so.
"They are tough moments for a player. It's not nice, he (Alvaro Morata) deserved to be here," Lopetegui, who extended his contract until 2020 this week, said about the players, including Morata, who failed to make his squad, as quoted by AS.
"I have the important opinion and it's painful, but I've made the decision.
"I've spoken with those I had to speak to, I'm not going to name anybody. I've had various doubts. To make a list of 23 is a difficult decision."
With so much quality in the current Spain set-up, there are still some La Furia Roja stars who might feel hard done by.
Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, for example, had a good campaign in LaLiga, but it was always going to be hard for him to compete with David de Gea, Pepe Reina and Kepa Arrizabalaga for the three goalkeeper spots.
FC Barcelona utility man Sergi Roberto and Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso are two massive names who would probably start as fullbacks for many national teams, but were not chosen by Lopetegui.
Marc Bartra, who had a brilliant campaign since joining Real Betis from Borussia Dortmund in January, and Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez missed out as central defenders, while Manchester United's Ander Herrera, Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas and Valencia's Dani Parejo were overlooked for the central midfield positions.
Jose Callejon was involved in 29 goals for Napoli this season, but also failed to make the final cut, while, in Chelsea's Pedro Rodriguez, one of Spain's most experienced players missed out on a major tournament for the first time in his career.
Up front, Alvaro Morata's omission was probably the biggest talking point of Lopetegui's squad, but comes on the back of the 25-year-old scoring just one Premier League goal in 2018.
Which Spain stars do you think Lopetegui should have called up to his World Cup squad? Have your say in the comments section below.