Barcelona & Real Madrid’s hold on La Roja is fading / Atletico see zero call-ups to the Spanish national side


Spain drew 0-0 against Portugal in a game which saw La Roja put on a typically dominant possession-hungry performance. However, leading up to the next international tournament, the Spanish squad is lacking the signature El Classico mixture and instead broadening its horizons.

Of the starting eleven, discounting on-loan Dani Ceballos, no Real Madrid players featured and Barcelona were represented only by Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquests. On the bench only Sergio Ramos represented Los Blancos and the Blaugrana had just the young prodigy Ansu Fati.

The Spanish side has moved on from the clutches of La Liga’s top two. Gone are the days of Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Villa, Casillas and Alonso.

Injuries have stemmed the influence. Were they fit, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal and Jordi Alba would have likely been selected. But the truth is that Spain’s squad extends much further beyond its borders now.

Foreign affairs

The national side has always included players from other leagues, David Silva, Santi Cazorla, Thiago, Cesc Fabregas etc. However, the influence from abroad is much stronger. Spanish players are leaving their homeland and seeking success in foreign lands.

Both number 1 and 2 keepers, David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga, hail from the Premier League. Further English imports include Sergio Reguilon, Eric Garcia, Rodri, Ceballos (on-loan at Arsenal), Ferran Torres, Rodrigo and Adama Traore. Germany and Italy are represented by RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo and Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz.

UDINE, ITALY – JUNE 30: Dani Olmo of Spain with trophy after winning the 2019 UEFA U-21 Final between Spain and Germany at Stadio Friuli on June 30, 2019 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

18 teams in total across the 25-man squad. None of which sourced from Atletico Madrid. Saul Niguez, Diego Costa, Marcos Llorente and Mario Hermoso all looked over by Enrique.

With the European Championships on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how Enrique moulds his squad. There is still time for those aggrieved to fight for their place, but it will not come willingly.

See also: Giovani Lo Celso named in latest Argentina squad despite missing out for Tottenham vs Man United

Portugal vs Spain live streaming: Watch international friendly online

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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