On Monday afternoon, Luis Enrique named his 24-man Spain squad for this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.
It’s understandably caused a bit of stir, with Sergio Ramos missing out in favour of Manchester City duo Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia.
Not a single Real Madrid player has been named in the Spain squad, which really is a major shock.
Due to the absence of players from the world’s biggest football club, you can create an XI made up of Spanish footballers who will miss Euro 2020 that is incredibly strong.
We’ve provided our attempt at that exact team for you to view below and on paper, it’s an XI that would do some serious damage at a major tournament.
Ansu Fati, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and any player who would miss the tournament through injury have not been considered for selection.
GK | Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Okay, we know Kepa has been far from great at Chelsea. But lest we forget, he’s still the most expensive goalkeeper in history at £72 million and was recently trusted by Thomas Tuchel to play in the FA Cup final – a decision that didn’t pay off, granted…
RB | Jesus Navas (Sevilla)
Enrique looks as if he’ll use Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente as a right-back at Euro 2020, which makes Navas’ omission all the more bizarre. The 35-year-old was one of the top performers in the 2020/21 La Liga season and in our opinion, his form warrants a place in Spain’s starting XI, not just the squad.
CB | Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Ramos’ injury issues have cost him dearly. The 180-cap veteran’s place in the squad this summer was never guaranteed, but we’re still struggling to work out why Garcia has been selected ahead of him after an average season at City. If Ramos is fit, you take him, it’s as simple as that really.
CB | Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid)
Nacho can play pretty much anywhere across the back-line to a decent level, so it seems strange that – like Ramos – he’s been demoted in favour of Garcia. Nacho finished the 2020/21 season fairly strongly as well, although maybe the fact the Spaniard is now 31 is part of the reason why he’s been left out.
LB | Sergio Reguilon (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Spurs defender always faced an uphill battle to make the squad due to the presence of Jordi Alba and Jose Gaya, two brilliant left-backs. Spain are spoilt for choice in the department, that’s for sure.
CDM | Dani Parejo (Villarreal)
Villarreal’s midfield metronome is still going strong at the age of 32. Sadly, he was never realistically going to make the squad at the expense of either Sergio Busquets or Rodri. However, his omission highlights Spain’s outrageous midfield depth, as Parejo walks into most other international starting XIs – including England’s.
CM | Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid)
The 2020/21 season was far from Saul’s best, the 26-year-old scoring just two goals in La Liga action, his lowest tally since 2017/18. Nevertheless, the versatile Atletico midfielder is still a world-class operator on his day and a potential match-winner.
CM | Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad)
Premier League fans may remember Merino from his sub-par spell at Newcastle. The 24-year-old is now one of the finest central midfielders in Spanish football and is the seventh-highest rated player in La Liga for the 2020/21 season on WhoScored. It’s a real shock that he’s been left out by Enrique.
CAM | Sergio Canales (Real Betis)
Canales is currently one of the best attacking midfielders on the planet. In 2020/21, the 30-year-old scored eight goals and produced six assists in 31 La Liga games, numbers that are worthy of a place in any squad. Like Parejo, he walks into most international XIs right now.
CF | Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
A serious knee injury sadly disrupted Asensio’s career for a while, but he looked something close to his best at Los Blancos in 2020/21, particularly towards the end of the season. As such, his failure to make the Euro 2020 Spain squad is a bit of a surprise.
ST | Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)
Aspas’ omission from the Spain squad is perhaps the most bizarre of all. The striker carried Celta Vigo in 2020/21, scoring 14 goals and contributing 13 assists in 33 La Liga appearances. Yes, he’s 33 now, but those stats simply cannot be ignored.