Luis Enrique uses Panini stickers to announce Spain team
Luis Enrique uses Panini stickers to announce Spain team with Jordi Alba recalled at expense of Marcos Alonso
- Jordi Alba returns to Spain squad for the first time under Luis Enrique’s reign
- Luis Enrique reveals his squad with the help of Panini stickers in Twitter video
- Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer left out despite his prolific form in Germany
- Spain face Croatia in Nations League and a friendly with Bosnia and Herzegovina
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has been recalled to the Spain squad for the Nations League decider away to Croatia and friendly with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Enrique unveiled his chosen 23 with the help of Panini stickers. A video posted to the Spanish squad’s official Twitter account showed him opening up envelopes to reveal the identity of each player.
Full-back Alba, who had been excluded from both coach Enrique’s squads since he took over from Julen Lopetegui, was one of those players.
Luis Enrique announced his Spain squad with the help of Panini stickers and a wall chart
?¡¡Ya la tenemos!! Esta es la 'colección' de convocados de @LUISENRIQUE21 para los partidos ante Croacia y Bosnia – Herzegovina #UnaNuevaIlusión
? https://t.co/o8ZdpRWX7i pic.twitter.com/9GgNvU8Ay3
He has played a key role in Barcelona’s impressive start to the season, scoring two goals and notching seven assists in 15 games.
Alba has 66 caps and eight goals for Spain, including one in the final of the 2012 European Championship where Spain routed Italy 4-0.
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Real Madrid’s Nacho were notable absentees in defence, along with Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke.
Dortmund forward Paco Alcacer, who scored three goals for Spain during the last set of internationals against Wales and England and has seven Bundesliga goals in five appearances this term, was also left out.
The identities of players were kept in envelopes with their club crests as the only clue
The former Barcelona boss made a number of changes from the last international break
Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba returns to the Spain squad after a fine start to the season
Uncapped Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso and Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez were given maiden call-ups while Pablo Fornals and Diego Llorente returned to the squad looking to add to the solitary caps they picked up in 2016.
Spain top League A Group 4 in the Nations League on six points, two ahead of England, and will ensure group victory and qualification for the Final Four with a win in Zagreb.
The 2010 World Cup winners will be looking to get back on track after suffering a surprise defeat to England in the last round of fixtures. The Three Lions sealed a 3-2 win to give themselves a fighting chance of topping the group.
However, with a far superior goal difference even a draw against this summer’s World Cup runners-up is likely to prove enough for Spain.
SPAIN SQUAD IN FULL
Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Man Utd), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) Pau Lopez (Betis)
Defenders: Jonny Otto (Wolves), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Diego Llorente (Real Sociedad), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mario Hermoso (Espanyol), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Joe Luis Gaya (Valencia) and Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Pablo Fornals (Villarreal), Brais Mendez (Celta Vigo), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Isco (Real Madrid) and Rodri (Atletico)
Forwards: Suso (AC Milan), Rodrigo (Valencia), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Morata (Chelsea) and Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
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