Luis Enrique announces his squad to play the European Championship with no Real Madrid players in the 24-man squad for the first time in the nation's history.
View this post on Instagram
After being knocked out by Italy in the 2016 Euros, Spain have lost their way a bit with three changes to their manager since, and now they will be led by a new Captain too, as Sergio Ramos, who’s led his country since 2016 and Real Madrid since 2015, has been left out by Luis Enrique due to his struggles with injury. Under Enrique though, they are starting to find their form back and have been drawn in Groupe E along with Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden and are certainly favourites to top the group and move to the next round. Enrique announced his 24-man squad to take part in Euros and the team definitely sound a bit off with not just the omission of Ramos but not a single Real Madrid player. It means that it will be Spain’s first major international competition where they are traveling without any players from Los Blancos. Manchester United’s David De Gea is Spain’s #1 goalkeeper with Unai Simon of Athletic Bilbao and Roberto Sanchez both keeping him on his toes, but there is no doubting that De Gea’s goalkeeping abilities make him a sure starter for Spain.
View this post on Instagram
The Spanish wall won’t be the same this year. Their two veteran defenders Sergio Ramos and Gerrard Pique both have been dropped from of the squad and it wasn’t the easiest decision for Enrique as he said about Sergio, “It was a very difficult decision but he has not been able to play this season and has hardly trained since January”. Sergio’s teammate and Spain left-back Dani Carvajal will also miss out on the Euros due to injury. This makes way for two Spain debutants, Eric Garcia and Aymeric Laporte who have been integral to Manchester City’s successes. Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Marcos Llorente, and Cesar Azpilicueta make their way back into the squad along with Leeds defender Diego Llorente.
The midfield is more or less the same and is filled with experienced players like Fabian Ruiz, Pablo Sarabia, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Rodri Hernandez, Koke, and Thiago Alcantara which gives manager Luis Enrique a wide range of players to pick from. Thiago has been excellent for Liverpool in 2021 and his experience will be vital to a squad that has a lot of young talent in such as rising Barcelona star Pedri, Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres. With this quality in their midfield, their fast attackers Gerard Moreno, Adama Traore, and Ferran Torres all can cause a serious threat to any opposition’s defensive line-up. Mikel Oyarzabal also makes it to the squad after a brilliant season with Real Sociedad along with Dani Olmo of RB Leipzig. Finally, they have gone with Juventus star Alvaro Morata, who could reach 50 caps for his country if Spain goes all the way to the Final.
With the competition just a few weeks away, Spain face Portugal and Lithuania in their friendlies before taking on Sweden on June 15th for their opening encounter.
Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton).
Defenders: Jose Gaya (Valencia), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Pedri (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool).
Forwards: Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Adama Traore (Wolverhampton), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain).
[Image Credit: Kick Off Magazine]