WORLD CUP 2018
Julen Lopetegui names Spain World Cup 2018 squad: as it happened
The Basque coach confirmed his 23 man squad ahead of the 2018 FIFA Russia World Cup with Morata the surprise absentee. USA vs Mexico: FIFA Friendly live online
Julen Lopetegui has announced the 23 players that he will take with him to the Russia 2018 World Cup with Chelsea's Alvaro Morata being the key omission.
The bulk of the questions directed at the Basque coach during the press conference centered on Morata's absence with Lopetegui claiming that as is generally the case, the compiling of any major tournament list is always a complex and difficult process.
Spain's preparation ahead of the competition starts with a friendly game against Switzerland on June 3rd. They then face Tunisia in Krasnodar on June 9th before their first Group B game in Sochi on the 15th against Portugal. The remaining Group B fixtures are against Iran and Morocco.
Spain World Cup 2018: squad announcement (as it happened)
So, just one change from the "filtered" list with Arsenal defender Monreal on his way to Russia with Marcos Alonso being the omitted player.
The VAR question is the final one of the session as the press conference comes to an end.
Lopetegui on VAR: "It's all a question of adapting to the situation. It's something we'll look at and quite clearly will play a significant role on the dynamic of many games".
Lopetegui on tiredness in the players: "It''s true that the season is long and has yet to finish for many. I'm sure that they'll all be in top shape when the first game comes around"
Lopetegui: "This is the best and most beautiful competion in the world but at the same time the most difficult as you only have three initial games to prove oneself".
Lopetegui: "We've taken the players we feel are the best and feel that we have the ingredients to challenge for the title and are just anxious for things to start now".
Lopetegui on the strikers: "We feel that each one will bring his style and personality to the team and this is important for each game and each situation"
Lopetegui: "At a World Cup, it's all about what you do on the pitch and FIFA rankings and the rest make little difference. We have three games and our future at the competition is dictated by these games".
Lopetegui confirms that younger players will be added to the group tomorrow to compensate the Real Madrid absentees (due to their UCL final participation on Saturday)
He adds that doubts always are linked with any squad selection process and this time has been no different as yet again another Morata question is fired at hime from the media.
The coach states that he'd rather handle questions on those players who are in the list as oppoed to absentees as another Morata question is directed at the Basque coach.
Lopetegui explains that Morata is left out and explains that he feels sorry for those players who played a role in the qualification process but have missed the final squad ... Batra, Alonso and Morata to name a few and confirms that the final list was difficult to make.
Lopetegui will now field questions from the press......
So 1 difference from the filtered list (Monreal in and no Marcos Alonso)
Forwards: Asensio, Lucas Vázquez, Diego Costa, Rodrigo Moreno and Aspas
Midfielders: Busquets, Saúl, Iniesta, Thiago, Koke, Silva and Isco.
Defenders: Carvajal, Odriozola, Piqué, Ramos, Nacho, Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba and Monreal.
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Kepa and Reina
Lopetegui takes to the stage
As is the case with these events, there will be the inevitable prelude of waffle, videos of action with the obligatory pumping techno sound-bed etc !!! Hang in there !
The lights are dimmed in the Telefonica presentation room with expectation high ahead of Lopetegui's arrival. A packed house here in Madrid!
The Kaliningrad Stadium is the final venue for "La Roja's " last Group B game with Morocco the rival on June 25.
After facing Portugal in Sochi, Spain then face Iran in the city of Kazan on June 20th.
Goalkeepers.... there seems to be little debate here with De Gea, Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa and Milan bound Reina the three names on all the media lists.
No doubts about the home shirt which is distinctly red although there was some debate about the optical colour of the yellow and blue stripes on the jersey which created the effect of the flag of the old Spanish second Republic.
Spain will be the away team in that Sochi opener and will wear their new away shirt. We still can't decide if this shirt is light blue, grey or a murky white !!!!
The Spanish national side will be based in the city of Krasnodar (not far from the Black Sea) as their base for the World Cup which starts on June 14th. Lopetegui's men are in action on the second day of competition, facing Portugal on Sochi.
Valencia striker Rodrigo appears to have done enough to stake a place in the squad and the current inform Celta striker Iago Aspas is a firm fan favourite and alos the highest scoring Spanish striker in Laliga this season.
As we count down to the squad confirmation, have a browse at our Spain Russia 2018 preview by international football expert Aritz Gabilondo.
We'll be live from the Telefonica HQ in 45 minutes and find out who is on the plane to Russia...many asking if the definitive list will mirror the filtered list by Cope Radio yesterday. According to the leaked list both Morata and Vitolo are set to miss out.
Hello and welcome to our live feed from the Telefonica HQ in the Spanish capital as Julen Lopetegui names the 23 players he will take with him to Russia.
Spain World Cup 2018: squad announcement preview
With less than a month to go before the first ball is kicked at the 2018 Russia World Cup, today it’s the turn of Spanish national team manager Julen Lopetegui to present his 23 man squad as “La Roja” look to emulate the heroics of South Africa in 2010 when Vicente del Bosque’s men lifted their first World Cup title.
As always the prelude to any World Cup list has not been without it’s speculation with the spotlight falling on the inclusion or not of Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata. The former Real Madrid and Juve player, despite a bright start with the London club has had an indifferent season in England and may be one of the players to miss out.
Scandal developed in Spain yesterday as Cope Radio station filtered, what appeared to be a draft list of the 23 man squad from a dress rehearsal at the Telefonica HQ where Lopetegui will announce the Russia squad. The filtered version omitted Morata and later Telefonica were forced to issue a statement claiming that the list had no bearing on the real list and was just created to create an authentic dry run…..We’ll see how much veracity there is behind their claim when all will be revealed at 1300 CEST today as the Basque coach faces the media and names the 23 players that will be on the flight to Russia.
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