surinenglish

Lopetegui drafts in three new faces for upcoming friendlies

Marcos Alonso.
Marcos Alonso. / REUTERS
  • Marcos Alonso, Dani Parejo and Rodri have earned call-ups for games against Germany and Argentina

Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui has included three new names as part of his squad for both upcoming World Cup warm-up games against Germany and Argentina.

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso, Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo and Villarreal enforcer Rodri are all set to be involved in tonight's clash against the World Champions in Düsseldorf, as well as Tuesday's match against Argentina at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

Lopetegui, however, insisted that we shouldn't look too much into his selection: “There are players who haven't been called up whose chances have not been affected at all.”

This was in reference to striker Álvaro Morata, whose form with Chelsea has dipped in recent months and who now faces a battle with Atlético forward Diego Costa who has been recalled after a nine-month absence.

“When Diego was playing regularly, he was very much part of our plans. Then he stopped being active and stopped joining us,” said the head coach. “He's back playing now and back in our squad but it doesn't mean he's earned his spot. Álvaro is still very much in contention.”

Three generations

A call-up for Marcos Alonso has been a long time coming and the defender himself had started to give up hope and had booked a trip to Dubai for this international break.

“There are a lot of talented players but we can't bring them all in. However, with Marcos and Dani [Parejo], we decided that the timing was right,” said Lopetegui.

Should he win his first cap, Marcos will be the third generation of Alonsos to represent his country. His father, who has the same name, played 22 times for La Roja between 1981 and 1985, while his grandfather, known as Marquitos, earned two caps.