Alvaro Morata Left out of Spain’s World Cup Squad
MADRID (AP) — Alvaro Morata was left out of Spain's 23-player squad for the World Cup on Monday.
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui decided to pick only three strikers for the tournament in Russia: Diego Costa, Iago Aspas and Rodrigo.
Morata, who struggled with Chelsea this year, had not been included in the squad for Spain's most recent friendlies but Lopetegui had said the player still had chances of making it to the World Cup.
Also left out was forward Victor "Vitolo" Machin of Atletico Madrid. Vitolo had four goals in World Cup qualifying, while Morata had five and was among the team's top scorers along with Costa, Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and David Silva.
Instead of picking a fourth striker, Lopetegui opted to take eight defenders, including Nacho Monreal, the only other surprise on the list. Marcos Alonso and Marc Bartra were among the defenders left out.
Nearly 30 players who were called up by Lopetegui since the coach took over in 2016 have been left out of the final list.
Youngster Alvaro Odriozola was added as the second right back behind Dani Carvajal, leaving Barcelona defender Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup.
The squad has six players from Real Madrid and four from Barcelona. The Madrid players will report to the team's training camp later than the other players because they will play the Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday in Kiev.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.