Spain in the 2022 World Cup: who is in Luis Enrique’s squad of 26?

Nov 14 (Reuters) – Spain looks to win its second World Cup headline on Nov 20-Dec. Tournament 18 in Qatar. Here’s what you need to know about his squad:

HOW MANY PLAYERS CAN SPAIN TAKE TO QATAR?

* Teams will be able to select up to 26 players for this year’s World Cup after FIFA increased the maximum limit for teams to three in June, citing the unusual timing of the tournament and the impact of COVID-19.

* Managers have until November 14 to decide on their final 26-player roster by 18:00 GMT.

WHO IS ON THE SPANISH SQUAD FOR THE 2022 WORLD CUP?

The Spain team was announced on November 11.

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

Luis Enrique seems to be a big fan of Simon’s character and the Bilbao goalkeeper is expected to retain his place as Spain’s first choice in Qatar.

* 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).

Azpilicueta, Carvajal, Laporte and Alba bring a lot of experience to the Spanish defense in the absence of veterans Sergio Ramos and Gerard Piqué.

* 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).

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Pedri was an important part of Spain’s run to the European Championship semi-finals last year and the 2021 Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy winner heads to his first World Cup as one of their most dynamic options in midfield. .

Busquets, the last holdover from Spain’s triumph in 2010, will have the task of sorting out their young midfield.

* 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).

Morata is likely to lead the front line in Qatar as their preferred number nine in recent years. Fati was also given the nod, but the striker is still working to get back to top form after being plagued by knee injuries.

WHAT ARE SOME NOTABLE OMISSIONS?

* Manchester United’s De Gea was left out after falling out of favor with Luis Enrique, who said in March he wanted to try other goalkeepers.

* Fellow goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has appeared more regularly this season for Chelsea but was excluded from the Spanish squad due to injury.

* Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara failed to make the cut after having seen his role diminish with the rise of teenagers Pedri and Gavi.

WHICH TEAMS WILL SPAIN FACE IN THE GROUP STAGE?

* Spain will face Costa Rica, Germany and Japan in Group E.

* Spain will play a warm-up match against Jordan on November 17.

WHAT WAS THE SPANISH SQUAD IN THE 2018 WORLD CUP?

* Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao).

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* Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

* Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcántara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Saúl Niguez (Atlético Madrid), Koke (Atlético Madrid).

* Forwards: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid).

Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Edited by Christian Radnedge

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