Paris Saint-Germain defender Sergio Ramos missed the World Cup after being ruled out by Spain coach Luis Enrique, while Barcelona striker Ansu Fati was included in Qatar’s 26-man squad.
Ramos, Spain’s appearance record holder, last appeared for La Roja in March 2021 but was back after excelling for PSG this season, playing 12 times in Ligue 1 and starting all six of his league games champions.
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Fati, 20, has not played for his country since October 2020, when he suffered a serious knee injury that ruled him out for 10 months, followed by persistent hamstring and thigh muscle issues which prevented him from achieving full physical form.
“I will not assess players who are not on the list,” Luis Enrique told a press conference on Friday when asked about Ramos.
“I recognize and thank all those players who contributed during my time here and played games with the national team, but from there the most important are now the 26 who are here.”
On Fati, Luis Enrique added: “Ansu is getting back to being the player he was before his injury.
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“He is now fully recovered, he has played a lot of games for his club. We can discuss when he will be back to his previous level, we all want that.”
With Ramos, there was no place for Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias or Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno in the Spanish squad.
Luis Enrique has also confirmed that Gerard Pique is on his provisional 55-man list before the Barcelona centre-back announced his retirement.
“Pique was on the provisional list because when I made the provisional list he was an active player,” Luis Enrique said.
“It’s a competitive machine, or it was. When I named the list of 55, I thought clearly [about him]not as a first option because the line has been that of continuity.”
Ramos, 36, has played 180 times for his country since his debut in March 2005, scoring 23 goals. He was a key part of the Spain squad that won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010.
The centre-back was left out of Spain’s Euro 2020 squad after an injured 2020-21 season and left Real Madrid for PSG on a free transfer later that summer.
His first season in the French capital was also plagued by injuries, playing just 13 games in all competitions, but he has since returned to full fitness with his club.
Luis Enrique also joked that he was the best national team manager in history when asked if he had ever doubted him as Spain boss.
“How am I going to have doubts? said Luis Enrique. “There is no better national team manager than me in the history of world football.
“That’s what I believe. Another thing is that it’s the reality, which obviously isn’t true. But I believe it.”
The full Spanish team:
Guardians: Unai Simon (Athletic Club), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford).
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Soler (PSG), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid).
Forwards: Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Club), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (PSG), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona ).