Luis Enrique called up Barcelona striker Ansu Fati for the 2022 World Cup as he announced his squad on Friday. The 20-year-old Barcelona forward went unused in Nations League clashes in September and has not been in his best form for his club this season. Fati has four caps for the national team and one goal, and has had the best time of the past two seasons due to constant knee injuries. Luis Enrique has included him in the 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar, which does not include the veteran Paris Saint-Germain defender. Sergio Ramosdespite speculation that he might return.
“(Ansu) was one of the doubters until the last minute, we bet on him before the others,” Luis Enrique said at a press conference.
“Ansu’s level in the footballing sense is unquestionable (but) he went through a difficult process. I doubted until the last second.
“Hopefully getting him back to his best influenced the decision. Is he close? Yes, no… we’ll see.
“He’s played for his club but he’s not a fixture in the team. I think this could be a big boost to get him back where he was, but there are doubts left. unravel. We’ll see during the World Cup.”
Ramos, 36, Spain’s best player with 180 appearances for the national team, has found fitness and form with his club this season.
Valencia’s versatile defender Hugo Guillamon, who has made three appearances for Spain, has been chosen instead, alongside Manchester City’s Aymeric. Laportewho was granted Spanish citizenship in 2021.
Luis Enrique, who has only brought 24 players to Euro 2020 out of a possible 26, has opted for the full complement of him this time around.
Athletic Bilbao striker Nico Williams and Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino have been selected, along with the likes of Fati and Guillamon.
No club prejudice
There are seven players from the Catalan giants on the list, including young midfielders Pedal Gonzalez and Gavi.
Luis Enrique said: “As I always tell you, I don’t see which clubs the players come from.
“I don’t put the national team around one team (club), I think it’s the opposite.
“I don’t pay attention to the number of players from any particular club, nor their age. I focus on the values that we want, to be able to compete on our team.”
Spain open their World Cup campaign in Group E against Costa Rica on November 23, before facing 2014 champions Germany on November 27 and Japan on December 1.
Defender: Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City / ENG), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea / ENG), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
Midfielder: Rodri (Manchester City / ENG), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Gavi (Barcelona), Pedri Gonzalez (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris Saint-Germain / FRA)
Striker: Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig / GER), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germian / FRA), Alvaro Morata (Juventus / ITA), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal)
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