On naming a 26-man team on Friday for this month’s European championship qualifiers against Norway and Scotland, New Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente brought back goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and attacker Iago Aspas. The matches are scheduled to take place in this month.
Jordi Alba, a defender for Barcelona, was one of the players who didn’t make the cut after De la Fuente persisted with the same 11 players who travelled to the World Cup in Qatar under his predecessor Luis Enrique. During that tournament, Spain was eliminated in the round of 16 by Morocco.
Arrizabalaga, a goalkeeper for Chelsea who has participated in 26 games across all competitions, has not competed for Spain since October 2020. However, Aspas, a striker for Celta Vigo who is 35 years old and has scored 11 goals in 25 league games, is making his first appearance for Spain since 2019.
The 33-year-old Nacho Fernandez, a defender for Real Madrid, is also back in the fold for the first time since 2018, while David Garcia of Osasuna and Joselu of Espanyol earned their first call-ups to the squad.
Gavi and Pedri, who both played for Barcelona during the World Cup, were selected for the team, but their teammates Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, and Eric Garcia, along with Alba, were not. Alba was the only player from Barcelona not selected.
Koke and Marcos Llorente, who play for Atletico Madrid, as well as Marco Asensio, who plays forward for Real, were not selected.
In response to a question during a press conference, De la Fuente stated, “When picking this squad, I have not looked at the past but rather at the present and the future.”
In their first two games in Group A, which also includes Georgia and Cyprus, Spain will play against Norway at their own stadium on March 25 and then travel to Glasgow three days later to face Scotland.
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford)
Defenders: Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Alejandro Balde (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Nacho Fernandez, (Real Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), David Garcia (Osasuna), Pedro Porro (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Rodri (Manchester City), Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Pedri, (Barcelona), Gavi (Barcelona), Fabian Ruiz (PSG), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid)
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Bryan Gil (Sevilla), Mikel Oyazarbal (Real Sociedad), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Joselu (Espanyol), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)