Top 10 players absent from Spain squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup
La Roja lifted the trophy in 2010.
There is just over a week until the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar. Spain are among the World Cup favorites with their squad filled with superstars and talent. La Roja have the talent and the experience to pull off the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. And the metamorphosis of Luis Enrique’s Spain is almost complete.
Spain’s early exits from the 2014 World Cup (group stages) and the 2018 edition in Russia proved how difficult it is to emerge from their ‘golden generation’. However, considering the coach of the squad Enrique has chosen for the World Cup, Spain should be a strong contender.
Based on their performances in last year’s World Cup qualifiers and friendlies, the players (below) should have been on the World Cup shortlist. But let’s see why these 10 players are missing from Spain’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
10. Gerard Moreno
Two Villarreal players have been named in Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad, but Gerard Moreno has been left out. Luis Enrique has picked pau Torres and Yeremy Pino to compete in Qatar as planned, but Gerard is a surprise absentee.
The striker has been a regular under Luis Enrique in recent years, scoring five goals in 17 appearances for La Roja. But at 30, it looks like his career will end with no World Cup experience.
9. Thiago Alcantara
Thiago Alcantara is one of the main stars left out of Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup roster. Luis Enrique has chosen a youthful roster that includes Pedri and Gavi, while striker Ansu Fati will feature in his first major competition .
Thiago has been one of Liverpool’s best performers during their poor season, but he won’t play in Qatar.
8. David de Gea
De Gea hasn’t played for the Spanish national team since a 1-0 loss to Ukraine in the Nations League in 2020. Since then, the Manchester United goalkeeper has been banned for the entire season 2021.
This year however, De Gea’s position has slipped even more. He failed to make the national team throughout the year as Spain prepared for the World Cup in Qatar. United’s longtime goalkeeper has had a difficult season with the underperforming Reds.
7. Sergio Canales
Canales helped Spain’s Under-17 side win the UEFA European Championship in Turkey in 2008. He made his Under-21 debut aged 19 and scored twice in his first two games.
Canales was then named in the European Under-19 Championship squad in 2009. He was called up to the senior squad on 15 March 2019 for two UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Norway and Malta. The 31-year-old made his debut eight days later, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute for Dani Ceballos in Spain’s 2-1 win over Norway.
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6. Nacho Fernandez
Nacho made his debut for Spain at the Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 categories before being called up to the senior squad on 2 September 2013 for a friendly against Switzerland in place of Inigo Martnez, injured. He made his debut as a substitute for Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos early in the second half in a 2-2 draw with Chile.
He was part of Spain’s last World Cup squad for the 2018 edition in Russia. On June 15, he scored his first goal for Spain, in a group stage match against Portugal, in a 3–3 draw. Unfortunately, he was left out of Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad.
5. Sergio Ramos
Ramos fell out of favor with Enrique and also missed the European Championships last year after an injury-plagued season. However, he has been a crucial part of PSG’s defense this season. However, it looks like the 36-year-old may not feature in another World Cup in his career.
When he made his Spain debut aged 18 years and 361 days, Ramos was then the youngest player to play for Spain. This disc was however rewritten a year later by Cesc Fabregas. At Euro U-19 2004, he started four of their five matches as they won their second European U-19 Championship. Ramos scored his first goal in a 6-0 rout of San Marino in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
4. Iago Aspas
Aspas was named in the 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He made his tournament debut on 15 June 2018, replacing Diego Costa in Spain’s 3-3 draw with Portugal. Ten days later, he scored a last-minute equalizer to help his side draw 2-2 with Morocco. Through the draw, Spain qualified for the knockout stage as group champions.
However, things went awry as Aspas was one of two Spanish players to miss in the penalty shootout against Russia. Spain then lost the shootout 3-4 and were knocked out of the last 16. With Enrique picking Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati ahead of him, Aspas won’t make Spain’s World Cup squad.
3. Alejandro Balde
Alejandro Balde, born in Barcelona to Guinean and Dominican parents, joined Barca aged eight after rising through the ranks at Espanyol. He is from the 2003 generation, although he has always played a year or two older. Balde has won the league at U-10 A, B and C levels, U-12 A and C levels, U-14 A and B levels and A-16 A and B levels. He now plays for Barca B rather than for the U-19B team.
Balde also represented Spain in the Under-20 category but did not make the World Cup roster along with Jordi Alaba’s first-choice left-back Enrique.
2. Isco Alarcon
On 15 November 2014, Isco scored his first international goal for Spain in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Belarus, which ended in a 3–0 win.
Isco scored his first hat-trick for Spain on March 27, 2018, in a 6-1 friendly win over Argentina. He was named in Spain’s final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Isco scored his only goal in the final group stage encounter against Morocco, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
His goal helped the team advance to the second round as group winners. Isco was left out of Spain’s 26-man squad for UEFA Euro 2020 in May 2021. And failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup again.
1. Inigo Martinez
Martinez made his senior debut on August 14, 2013 in a 2–0 friendly win over Ecuador. He received eleven caps, including seven departures, between September 2018 and March 2021. However, he was not included in Luis Enrique’s 24-man squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. Inigo said that he was not entirely happy with his physical situation after missing several club games during the season and an agreement had been reached between him, the national team and the club.
Martnez scored his first UEFA Nations League international goal on 5 June 2022, a last-minute header in a 2-2 away draw against the Czech Republic. He was, however, not named in Spain’s World Cup squad.
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