Vicente del Bosque has left out a number of big names in naming his Spain squad for the European Championships. The provisional 25-man squad will face three opponents before their first match at the summer tournament.
First they will face Bosnia-Herzegovina, then South Korea, before finally facing Georgia, less than a week before their first match in the tournament group stage, against Czech Republic.
Athletic Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz has been included in the squad lis; the 35-year-old striker has notched 32 goals in all competitions this season, so it’s no surprise to see him included.
Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique have all been selected, which comes as no surprise. The same goes for Iker Casillas, the FC Porto goalkeeper who has been in fine form this season, but David de Gea will be hoping that his season at Manchester United has earned him the number one shirt.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David de Gea, Sergio Rico.
Defenders: Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marc Bartra, Dani Carvajal, Juanfran, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Mikel San Jose.
Midfielders: Thiago Alcantara, Bruno, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Isco, Koke, Saul Niguez, Pedro, David Silva.
Forwards: Aritz Aduriz, Alvaro Morata, Nolito, Lucas Vazquez.
Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez are surprise inclusions. Despite both having stellar seasons with their respective clubs, both are uncapped and inexperienced. With that being said, taking them both to France would be a gamble, but they have proven for their clubs that they are up to the task.
It could be said that including Villarreal’s midfield general Bruno in the team is a surprise; however, it is highly unlikely that he will replace Busquets in the starting eleven and if he was to start ahead of the Barcelona man, Bruno would do a fine job at protecting the back four for Spain.
As for the lack of Chelsea’s Diego Costa, the controversial striker’s omission comes as no surprise to some. His volatile nature doesn’t fit in well with a team of level-headed individuals.
However, based on ability, Costa has proven he is up there with the world’s best, so it would seem his behaviour in recent months is what has seen him omitted from the national team.
Another big name to have been left out is Manchester United’s Juan Mata. Despite having a relatively quiet season with the Red Devils, Mata has always performed well for the national side and so with him being left out and Vazquez being included, a few heads have certainly been turned.
Other surprise omissions include Paco Alcacer, Mario Gaspar, Javi Martinez, Hector Bellerin and Fernando Torres.
Spain begin their quest for glory against Czech Republic, before taking on Turkey and then Croatia. It will be a tough group for La Furia Roja, but one they will be expecting to progress in.