3 weeks ahead of the grandest showpiece on Planet Earth kicks off, 2010 winners Spain has released their 23-man squad for the World Cup 2018.
The La Roja have been drawn in Group B along with Iran, Morocco and Euro 2016 winners Portugal. Their coach, Julen Lopetegui had until the 4th of June to reveal the list of the players, but he chose to do so a fortnight ago to be able to focus on the preparations.
Some big names are missing from the list, which includes Alvaro Morata, Hector Bellerin, Cesc Fabregas and Sergi Roberto. Chelsea has fared poorly in the English Premier League this season, and that was reflected in the manner in which Morata and Fabregas were left out. The striker started the season brightly but only has 11 goals to his name while the midfielder has failed to impress in the limited game-time that he has had. Bellerin has also had a mixed season as well but his Arsenal colleague Nacho Monreal has found himself in the squad after an excellent run of form. Sergi Roberto misses out despite winning a Double with Barcelona, and one assumes it is because Lopetegui prefers specialists instead of utility players.
Upfront, the Spanish side will have Iago Aspas and Diego Costa playing alongside each other while the midfield and defence will boast of a host of the usual suspects, including Andres Iniesta. David de Gea is likely to start in goal, after yet another stunning campaign with Manchester United which saw him winning the Golden Glove ahead of City goalkeeper Ederson.
Here is the full squad list for Spain:
Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa (Athletic Bilbao)
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho (all Real Madrid), Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique (both Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Odriozola (Real Sociedad)
Midfield: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (both Barcelona) Saúl, Koke (both Atletico), Thiago (Bayern), David Silva (Manchester City), Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vázquez (all Real Madrid)