Reports emerging from Spain have suggested that the exclusion of Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas from the Spanish squad is due to a plot by the Real Madrid players. Don Balon has stated that the decision to omit Fabregas from the squad came after pressure from the Real Madrid football players who were unimpressed with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique’s antics.
Fabregas is Pique’s closest ally in the Spanish national team and the Los Blancos players apparently want to get at Pique and isolate him after years of taunts and abuses with this move. Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are Barcelona players who are part of coach Julen Lopetegui’s squad but are not as close to Pique as Cesc is and hence have not been targetted.
Fabregas has shown mixed form this season. It appeared as though the 29-year-old was getting his mojo back after a fantastic performance against Leicester in the EFL Cup for Chelsea but he followed that up with a shocker against former club Arsenal and was subsequently overlooked for the future games by Antonio Conte.
The ex-Gunner has made over 100 appearances for Spain and was part of their World Cup winning squad in 2010 but has been unable to replicate the form he showed at Arsenal ever since leaving the side way back in 2011.
Julen Lopetegui has named a surprising squad for Spain’s World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania. Jose Callejon’s inclusion most notably was met with surprise from everyone in the footballing community. The Napoli forward hasn't featured for his national team since 2014 but a run of good form for his club has earned him a call-up.
Apart from Fabregas, Manchester United's Juan Mata, as well as Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas, were left out of the 23 man squad. Marco Asensio too misses out but the Real Madrid trio of Isco, Lucas Vázquez, and Álvaro Morata have made the cut.
Spain face Italy on the 6th of October followed by Albania on the 9th and Lopetegui will be hoping for a repeat of the performance they put up against Lichtenstein, a game where they emerged 8-0 winners.
Take a look at the complete squad below:
David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Sergio Rico
Jordi Alba , Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Sergi Roberto, Nacho, Inigo Martínez
Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Thiago Alcántara, Ander Herrera, Saul Niguez, Koke, Isco, Andrés Iniesta.
Álvaro Morata, Lucas Vázquez, Nolito, José Callejón, Diego Costa, Vitolo.
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