Luis Enrique names Spain squad with 7 changes from Euro 2020

MADRID (AP) — Coach Luis Enrique on Thursday announced Spain’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers with seven changes from the team that reached the semifinals of the European Championship.

Among those missing were four players who also played with Spain in the Tokyo Olympics — Pedri González, Pau Torres, Mikel Oyarzabal and Dani Olmo. Defender Eric García and goalkeeper Unai Simón will not get a break after playing in both competitions.

The three other players not called up from the Euro 2020 squad were Diego Llorente, Fabián Ruiz and Thiago Alcántara.

Veteran captain Sergio Ramos, who was left out of Euro 2020 and has been recovering from injury, also wasn’t included for the September qualifiers against Sweden, Georgia and Kosovo.

Spain leads Group B with seven points, one more than Sweden, which has a game in hand.

The main surprise in Luis Enrique’s list was forward Abel Ruiz from Portuguese club Sporting Braga. He was a regular in Spain’s youth squads but had never been called up for the main national team.

The players not in Euro 2020 added to the squad were defenders Raúl Albiol and Íñigo Martínez, midfielders Mikel Merino, Carlos Soler and Brais Méndez, and forward Pablo Fornals.

Spain lost to eventual champion Italy in the semifinals of Euro 2020. Among those returning from the European competition are captain Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, César Azpilicueta, Koke Resurrección, Álvaro Morata, Adama Traoré and Gerard Moreno.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao), David De Gea (Manchester United), Robert Sánchez (Brighton)

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), José Gayà (Valencia), Íñigo Martínez (Athletic Bilbao), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric García (Manchester City), Raúl Albiol (Villarreal), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri Hernández (Manchester City), Brais Méndez (Celta Vigo), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Koke Resurrección (Atlético Madrid)

Forwards: Pablo Fornals (West Ham), Abel Ruiz (Sporting Braga), Álvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain)

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