SPAIN SQUAD

Lopetegui: "We're not closing the door on Casillas"

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui gave his reasons for omitting Iker Casillas from the Spain squad, and why he believes Costa and Asensio deserve call ups

Lopetegui: "We're not closing the door on Casillas"
EMILIO COBOS DIARIO AS

Julen Lopetegui faced the media after naming his first Spain squad for the matches against Belgium (1 September) and Lichtenstein (5 September).

Reasons for Casillas absence

“I expected the question. As is obvious, everyone knows I spoke with him. Iker is an icon but in this case we’ve decided that the number 1 is going to be De Gea. Not in any case is the idea to close the door on Iker to the Spain squad. We will look at his performances closely. It’s clear that he’s special and we should treat him in a special way.”

Diego Costa’s return

“Before anything, I should say that the players we’ve called up haven’t been straightforward decisions. The season’s just started and there haven’t been many games. Diego has convinced us, he had a good preseason and had a positive presence in the two games he’s played [in the Premier League].

Cesc’s absence and Asensio’s call up

“It’s the first time in 11 years that Cesc’s not there and it’s a logical question. He’s played very little and we’ll be looking at how he evolves. He’ll be a player who’ll be keeping close tabs on.

“Asensio has had a good preseason. He’s in form, he has quality and his presence is interesting. He’s showing a lot of maturity. He’s a player who excites us. He has a big future.

Isco missing

“Isco was in the list but he’s had a bang on the ankle in the last training session. He’s a player I like and we believed he should be in the squad with us.”

Did Pedro’s words influence your decision not to call him up?

“We didn’t take his words into account. We are starting from zero and taking decisions that we believe are best for the national side.”

Did you speak to Del Bosque?

“Yes, we are neighbours and friends too. We had a conversation a few weeks ago and we talked about a lot of things.”