World Cup 2018: 5 Spain Players Who Should Have Been Selected
After a disappointing 2014 FIFA World Cup exit in the group stage, which included a 1-5 drubbing at the hands of Netherlands, Spain will be hoping to prove themselves on the biggest of stages once again. They were also unceremoniously knocked out of the Euros in 2016 by Italy, as Vincent del Bosque announced his managerial retirement.
In came Julen Lopetegui and today he announced the Spain squad that travels to Russia. They do so in hopes of lifting the spirits of a country that boasts a population of over 45 million and has won the prestigious trophy only once.
However, a number of star names were left out and we look at five of them.
#5 Cesc Fabregas
The Chelsea midfielder is no stranger to the international stage. He played a vital role in Spain's European campaign in both 2008 and 2012, as they went on to lift the trophy back-to-back.
His name is etched in the history books of Spanish football, with his crucial pass for Andres Iniesta in the 116th minute of the World Cup final in 2010 propelled them to a phenomenal victory.
Currently playing for Chelsea in the English Premier League, the 31-year-old is definitely suffering from the fact that his age is catching up to him. The playmaker has had to fight with young-blooded competition not just at club level, but with his national side too.
However, he has proved to be a valuable asset for Antonio Conte in the middle of the park, making 49 appearances this year in total. 32 of those appearances came in the Premier League, with his side eventually going on to lift the FA Cup trophy in what has been a rather disappointing season for the defending champions.
In terms of experience, the inclusion of older players in the final list does make sense. However, the Spanish manager doesn't seem to have space for Andres Iniesta's former teammate despite flourishing when played behind Diego Costa.
The World Cup definitely is a chance for him to settle in with the Spanish faithful and picking up Fabregas would mean taking a chance. They are plenty of options on the table, with the talent pool filled to the brim with midfielders vying for available spots.