“Hold that Enrique" – Fans mock Spain for leaving out one player from FIFA World Cup squad after 25-year-old star struggles in 2-1 loss to Japan

Fans mock Enrique
Fans mock Enrique's decision to not select De Gea

Fans are mocking Spain for leaving goalkeeper David de Gea out of their squad for the FIFA World Cup amid Unai Simon's struggles in a 2-1 defeat to Japan.

Luis Enrique's men were heavy favorites to beat Japan on 1 December after thrashing Costa Rica 7-0 in their opener and drawing 1-1 with Germany.

La Roja started brightly and grabbed the opener in the 11th minute when Alvaro Morata slotted home from close range.

However, the Samurai Blues staged an incredible comeback and secured a memorable 2-1 win through goals from Ritsu Doan (48') and Ao Tanaka (51').

The winner was scored in a contentious fashion as the ball appeared to have gone out of play.

Spain are through to the last 16, nevertheless, and will face Morocco after finishing second in Group E.

Despite this, Japan shocked the Spaniards, and many pointed the finger at goalkeeper Simon.

Doan's strike was perhaps one that the Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper should have done better with, but the power was too much for him to handle.

Simon made one save throughout the loss to Japan and his passing was sometimes questionable.

Fans are reminding Spain boss Enrique that he left Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea at home.

The veteran Spaniard is in fine form for the Red Devils, making 20 appearances across competitions and keeping nine clean sheets.

Enrique explained De Gea's omission from Spain's preliminary 55-man squad ahead of the FIFA World Cup, saying (via SportBible):

“I need a goalkeeper that transmits peace and calmness to me - and that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, errors are part of football. But what they generate I like a lot.”

The former Barcelona manager's words may come back to haunt him as fans are taunting his decision to leave De Gea out.

Here are some reactions from supporters on Twitter:

Spain really thought dropping David de gea was a good idea, this Unai Simon disasterclass is so deserved. Go Japan!
Hold that Enrique for thinking De Gea wasn’t good enough
Man United fans on behalf of De Gea right now 😂😂😂
Unai Simon the "modern keeper" passes it to Japan and then bottles the save competely 😭💀De Gea laffing at home…
De Gea watching Spain and Unai Simon😹
This is the Unai Simon that they said is better than De gea lmfao. Twitter people and funny takes.
Great to see Japan beat Spain.Serves Spain right for leaving de Gea at home and picking the clown Simon instead as Simon is 'better with his feet'
De Gea saves that Japan first goal btw👌🏾 #JPNESP

Spain's last 16 opponents Morocco's manager talks up his side's chances of winning the FIFA World Cup

Morocco qualified for the last 16 for just the second time in history
Morocco qualified for the last 16 for just the second time in history

Spain will play Morocco in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup after finishing second in Group E.

Les Lions' manager Walid Regragui has discussed the African nation's unlikely goal of winning the FIFA World Cup.

He spoke after beating Canada 2-1 to secure the top spot in Group F (via BBC Sport):

"We set ourselves an objective to give everything we have and get out of the group stages. After that, why not? Aim for the sky. We need to change our mentality and we will be a difficult team to beat."

He concluded:

"Why not dream about winning that trophy? As African teams we need to set this objective."

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Edited by Matthew Guyett