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No place for “rebel 15” as Spain announce last pre-World Cup squad

Spanish national team coach Jorge Vilda confirmed his squad ahead of Spain’s friendly games against Norway and China.

Jorge Vilda,

Spain’s women’s team are set to play two games against Norway and China in what will be their final confirmed friendly matches ahead of the forthcoming World Cup which kicks off in Australia/New Zealand on 20 July.

A degree of speculation surrounded the announcement of the squad list as whether or not any of the 15 rebel players who decided not to play for the coach last year would be readmitted.

Last September, 15 players declared themselves unavailable for selection, alleging that the “situation” within the national team was having a negative impact on their “emotional state” and their “health”. The list included key internationals such as Mapi Leon, Aitana Bonmati, Ona Battle and Sandra Paños.

Lucia Garcia Cordoba (R) of Spain celebrates with teammates Mapi Leon (L) and Aitana Bonmati
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Lucia Garcia Cordoba (R) of Spain celebrates with teammates Mapi Leon (L) and Aitana Bonmati TIM KEETONEFE

None of the 15 were included by Vilda in his squad on Friday and this decision most likely means that the series of players will not be chosen to represent Spain at the forthcoming World Cup.

In the subsequent press briefing, Vilda refused to discuss the fifteen who he described as having ‘ruled themselves out’. He later added: “I’m not going to talk about the players who are not available - we haven’t even spoken about the games yet, or the players that are in the squad. We have a super professional team that are on top of every player that is available to play. They deserve it, they are the best players for us and for the team.

Spain squad for Norway/China games:

Goalkeepers: Misa, Enith Salon, Elene Lete

Defenders: Ivana Andrés, María Méndez, Sheila García, Olga Carmona, Irene Paredes, Paula Tomás, Laia Codina, Jana Fernández

Midfielders: Maite Oroz, Irene Guerrero, Teresa Abelleira, Claudia Zornoza, Fiamma Benítez, Jenni Hermoso

Forwards: Alba Redondo, Athenea, Salma Paralluelo, Esther González, Asunción Martínez, Eva Navarro