MADRID (AP) — Francisco “Isco” Alarcon has been left out of Spain’s squad, paying the price for not playing often for Real Madrid under coach Santiago Solari.
Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion, Saul Niguez, and Thiago Alcantara also missed out on coach Luis Enrique’s list announced on Friday for 2020 European Championship qualifying matches against Norway and Malta this month.
Among the unexpected names chosen were Jaime Mata of Getafe, Sergi Gomez of Sevilla, Sergio Canales of Real Betis, Fabian Ruiz of Napoli, Iker Muniain of Athletic Bilbao, and Dani Parejo of Valencia.
Not available because of injuries were Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Diego Costa, Iago Aspas, and Diego Llorente.
Isco hasn’t received many minutes at Real Madrid since Solari, who this week was replaced by Zinedine Zidane, took over the squad last year. The playmaker often didn’t even make it to the bench, and there were reports he and the club were negotiating a transfer.
Isco was a regular starter under Zidane in the coach’s first stint with Madrid, and his place on the national team had not been questioned until now.
Spain hosts Norway at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia on March 23, then visits Malta three days later.
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Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Pau Lopez (Real Betis), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Juan Bernat (Paris Saint-Germain), Mario Hermoso (Espanyol), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Sergi Gomez (Sevilla), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Rodri Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Dani Parejo (Valencia), Sergio Canales (Real Betis)
Forwards: Rodrigo (Valencia), Jaime Mata (Getafe), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)
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