Luis de la Fuente Reveals First Squad as New Spain Coach
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 320
Spain's new coach, Luis de la Fuente, has announced his first squad of players, which has stirred up a great deal of interest among football enthusiasts. What is particularly intriguing about this squad is that it features only 11 of the 26 players who were present at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The players who did not make it into the team include Sergio Busquets, Carlos Soler, Ferran Torres, and Ansu Fati.
A Fresh Batch of Players
The team features several fresh faces, including goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who plays for Brighton, David Raya of Brentford, and Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had been banished by Luis Enrique, but has made a comeback following Unai Simon's injury.
Defenders on the squad include Alejandro Balde, David García, Jose Gayá, Dani Carvajal, Pedro Porro, Inigo Martínez, Aymeric Laporte, and Nacho Fernandez. In midfield, the team is composed of Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Martin Zubimendi, Pedri, Dani Ceballos, Gavi, and Mikel Merino.
The attack is led by Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo, Nico Williams, Bryan Gil, Joselu, Gerard Moreno, Iago Aspas, and Mikel Oyarzabal.
Upcoming Matches and Rivals
Spain's upcoming fixtures include qualifiers for the 2024 European Championship against Scotland, Norway, Cyprus, and Georgia.
The team's first match is scheduled for March 25, against Norway, and the following match will be against Scotland away. In June of this year, the team will face Italy.
A Surprising Squad?
The latest selection by De La Fuente has resulted in mixed feelings among football fans and experts alike.
The absence of certain players has come as a shock to some, while the inclusion of others has been welcomed. However, as noted by the Guardian, "The biggest surprise might be the lack of a surprise – De La Fuente has looked to keep most people happy enough." Recalls for veterans Nacho Fernandez and Iago Aspas have been met with enthusiasm, along with the new call ups for David Garcia, Martin Zubimendi, and Joselu.
Nonetheless, there are still a few noteworthy absences that have raised eyebrows. As the source states, "In terms of the most interesting absences, everyone knew about Sergio Ramos, but Asensio played many times for De La Fuente at youth level and they were close. Atletico Madrid duo Koke and Marcos Llorente will also might feel hard done by."