Coach Luis Enrique during the squad announcement.
Fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown

Spain coach Luis Enrique has announced an experimental squad for the upcoming Euros, with not a single Real Madrid player earning a call-up

Rob Palmer

Friday, 28 May 2021, 10:09


Luis Enrique's trademark has been revealing his Spain national squads with stunts and gimmicks.


  • Goalkeepers.

  • Unai Simón (Athletic)

  • David de Gea (M. United)

  • Robert Sánchez (Brighton)

  • Defenders.

  • César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

  • Marcos Llorente (Atlético)

  • Eric García (M. City)

  • Pau Torres (Villarreal)

  • Aymeric Laporte (M. City)

  • Diego Llorente (Leeds United)

  • Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

  • José Luis Gayà (Valencia)

  • Midfielders.

  • Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

  • Rodri Hernández (M. City)

  • Pedri González (Barcelona)

  • Thiago Alcántara (Liverpool)

  • Koke Resurrección (Atlético)

  • Fabián Ruiz (Napoli)

  • Forwards.

  • Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)

  • Álvaro Morata (Juventus)

  • Dani Olmo (Leipzig)

  • Ferran Torres (M. City)

  • Mikel Oyarzabal (R. Sociedad)

  • Adama Traoré (Wolves)

  • Pablo Sarabia (PSG)

We've had giant Panini stickers, bottle tops, QR codes, and shirts hung onto training ground dummies over the years.

His face was stern and serious as he announced who would be representing the country at this summer's Euros. Or not representing the country, as the headlines screamed.

Not one single Real Madrid player made the cut.

Most of the attention was on the omission of Spain's rock. The team has been built around Sergio Ramos for the past decade. His battered body has made it through just 61 minutes of Liga football in the past four months, hence the pragmatic explanation: "It was a difficult decision but he hasn't been able to play this season and has hardly trained since January."

His demise is timed with the rise of the Manchester City pair Aymeric Laporte and Eric García.

Laporte has finally pinned his colours to the Spain flag after 51 appearances for France at youth and under 21 level. He should slot in alongside 20-year-old García who belies his age.

Alongside them could be two veteran full backs - César Azpilicueta of Chelsea and the recalled Jordi Alba.

David de Gea appears to be the number one goalkeeper providing he can overcome the disappointment of missing the vital Europa League final penalty.

His back-up is one of the great stories. Robert Sánchez was keeping goal for Rochdale last season; he didn't establish himself at his parent club Brighton until seven months ago.

Sergio Busquets has been named as captain, yet seems to be under pressure from Rodri of Manchester City for the middle-man role. Another Premier League star, Liverpool's Thiago, should be a given and Liga winner Koke is back in vogue.

Gerard Moreno's thirty goals for Villarreal will earn him the central attacking position. There are so many attacking options. I'd go for Ferrán Torres who has been nurtured by Pep Guardiola and Mikel Oyarzabal, one of the country's most underrated players.

Álvaro Morata is a worthy alternative to Moreno. Pedri, just 18 year of age, could be an exciting substitute and no tiring defender would want to see the introduction of Adama Traoré's turbo charge with thirty minutes remaining.

Nobody of note has really been overlooked. Isco and Marco Asensio have been part of the Real Madrid malaise and have paid the price. Ansu Fati, Barcelona's wonderkid, is recovering from injury and his time will come.

Unlike many tournaments, Spain approach the Euros as outsiders to take the title. Coach Luis Enrique has habitually tinkered; this squad does have a hint of experimentation.

It is a break from the past and there is a freshness about his approach. Opponents will fear the unknown.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios