FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain XI that will not be playing in Russia
Spain’s previous two World Cup campaigns were contrasting in nature. They won the World Cup in 2010 and four years later, they had a disastrous defence of their title by being knocked out in the Group stage.
Many key players from those squads including Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, David Villa and Fernando Torres have retired from international football or the sport as a whole while several others are no longer in the national team picture. However, the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos continue to be a mainstay of the La Furia Roja.
Spain’s depth in quality is incredible! For example, there are five Spaniards in the Chelsea squad and yet, only one of them will travel with the Spain team to Russia for the World Cup!
In this scenario, we picked out a Spain XI, that will not be travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Goalkeeper: Sergio Rico
Sevilla’s Sergio Rico was Spain’s third-choice goalkeeper for Euro 2016 behind Iker Casillas and David De Gea.
The 24-year-old has been Sevilla’s first choice goalkeeper for four seasons now and has played close to 150 games for the club already.
However, despite the retirement of Iker Casillas, there is no place for Rico in the World Cup squad as Julen Lopetegui has gone with the veteran Pepe Reina and the 23-year-old Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao as backup keepers to David De Gea.
Reina has been picked after helping Napoli mount an unlikely title race and his experience could also be a factor behind his selection. Kepa, on the other hand, could be the future #1 for Spain although there are plenty of years left in De Gea’s career.