A devastatingly brilliant XI of players that have missed out on Spain’s Euro 2024 squad

Spain have named their squad for Euro 2024 and some big names have missed out.

They might not be the force they once were, but their squad is still packed with world-class talent from elite European clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Here are the players that have made the cut in Luis de la Fuente’s preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Remiro (Real Sociedad), David Raya (Arsenal)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Aymeric Laporte (Al Nassr), Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad), Nacho (Real Madrid), Daniel Vivian (Athletic Bilbao), Pau Cubarsi (Barcelona), Alex Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Rodri (Manchester City), Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Fabian Ruiz (PSG), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona), Aleix Garcia (Girona), Aleix Baena (Villarreal), Fermin Lopez (Barcelona)

Forwards: Lamine Yamal (Barcelona), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Joselu (Real Madrid), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Ayoze Perez (Real Betis)

We’ve put together a pretty handy XI of players that haven’t been included, lining up in a not-at-all Spain-like 4-4-2.

GK: David Soria

Gone are the days in which La Roja had multiple Champions League winners Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes battling it out for the No.1 shirt.

Still, their options for Euro 2024 aren’t terrible, and they’re all adept at playing out from the back in time-honoured tradition.

The experienced David Soria is not that, having made over 200 appearances for an infamously robust Getafe side since 2018, but he is a capable shot-stopper.

No Spanish ‘keeper has made more saves across Europe’s top leagues this season, while he boasts a decent penalty-saving record, having denied the likes of Iago Aspas, Mikel Oyarzabal, Luis Suarez and Alvaro Morata from 12 yards.

He’d be useful, if only for a very specific Tim Krul-esque shootout scenario.

RB: Pedro Porro

The Tottenham left-back has surprisingly only played for Spain on three occasions, but his omission from the preliminary squad still comes as a surprise.

The 24-year-old has won a Portuguese title with Sporting Lisbon and has swiftly proven himself as a key player for Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham, notching three goals and seven assists in his first full Premier League season.

CB: Sergio Ramos

The last player from Spain’s golden era that conceivably still represents them over a decade later, Ramos started all three of their major final victories between 2008 and 2012.

He hasn’t been capped since 2021 and reluctantly announced his retirement from international football last year, but has since pedalled back on that.

“It’s true that everyone knows how happy I’d be to return to the national team. I still have that hope of coming back,” Ramos told reporters earlier in the season.

The four-time Champions League winner looks set to depart hometown club Sevilla for a second time, having made a romantic return last summer. The club have toiled, while Ramos himself has had a solid if unspectacular individual campaign, but he still possesses experience that could prove invaluable.

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CB: Pau Torres

It’s difficult to imagine any more that the dreamy-eyed defender could have done, having played a starring role in Aston Villa’s exceptional  2023-24 campaign. A massive reason behind the club qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 41 years.

He’s also been a regular fixture for Spain in recent years, with 24 international caps since his debut back in 2019.

A head-scratcher, this one.

ILB: Miguel Gutierrez

Eric Garcia isn’t the only Girona player that can feel a bit aggrieved to miss out on a place in Spain’s Euro 2024 squad. Midfielder Aleix Garcia is the only player to have made it from La Liga’s third-placed side.

Real Madrid youth product Gutierrez has proven himself as a dependable full-back over the past couple of seasons and is surely knocking on the door for a first senior cap at international level after rising through the youth ranks for Spain.

The 22-year-old full-back notched seven assists in La Liga last term, and no player created more big chances. He may well become a frequent fixture at future major tournaments.

READ NEXT: A scarily good XI of players left out of Germany’s Euro 2024 squad

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every country that has qualified for Euro 2024?

RW: Lucas Vazquez

Vazquez has tended to slot in at right-back for Real Madrid this season, which is where he produced a man-of-the-match performance in Real Madrid’s title-clinching 3-2 victory over Barcelona back in April, in which he chipped in with a goal and an assist.

But the thing with Vazquez is, no matter where you play him, he’ll turn up and do a solid job for you. Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane know that all too well. Think of him like Real Madrid’s answer to John O’Shea, in the most complimentary way possible.

Dedicated utility players like that are worth their weight in gold as squad players, so it’s a perplexing decision to leave him out.

Needless to say, he’s not impressed with the call, having posted a couple of laughing emojis immediately after the announcement in a since-deleted tweet.

CM: Gavi

In fairness, had he been fit and available, Gavi would almost certainly have been one of the first names in De la Fuente’s squad list.

The La Masia graduate’s tenacity and energy have made him indispensable for club and country since he first broke through a couple of years back.

The European Championship trophy has been lifted by 10 different countries.

READ: Euro 2024 squads: Spain join England, France & Germany with announcements…

CM: Isco

It’s almost five years since Isco last represented his country on the pitch.

The playmaker hasn’t been capped by the current boss and was continually overlooked by his predecessor Luis Enrique, which was a statement of how his career had stagnated in his late 20s.

But he looked set a fairytale return for the Euro 2024 squad, coming off the back of a wonderful resurgence at Real Betis.

The 32-year-old was invariably the best player on the pitch every time you’d watch Manuel Pellegrini’s side. He notched eight goals and five assists and was among the top chance creators in Europe’s five major leagues.

Unfortunately, he recently fractured the fibula in his left leg and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, which is not the ending his “spectacular season” (the words of Luis de la Fuente) deserved. On this form, he’d have been a key asset.

The fact that Spain’s squad still looks pretty formidable without either Isco or Gavi is testament to their ability to continue producing exceptionally gifted midfielders.

LW: Adama Traore

Look, this is probably where we’ve struggled the most. Alex Baena enjoyed an outstanding campaign with Villarreal and deserves his place in the squad, but beyond him there isn’t a great abundance of great Spanish left-wingers (no, Hector Bellerin doesn’t count) right now.

So we’re left choosing a player that made just one Premier League start for Fulham last season. But in this age of 26-man squads, in all likelihood there’ll always be a few players that don’t make it onto the pitch, rendering many of these discussions moot.

In terms of options, De la Fuente could do worse than Traore, who has eight caps for Spain and has tournament experience from Euro 2020.

He’s well versed in making an impact off the bench, having made 16 Premier League substitute appearances for Marco Silva’s side in 2023-24.

The winger’s stock might have fallen in recent years, but he still possesses the kind of uniquely explosive profile most players can only dream of.

His solitary league start for Fulham was also his most recent appearance, a 4-2 victory over Luton in which he scored and assisted. Wildcards don’t come much wilder.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 30 Spanish players with the most Premier League appearances?

ST: Iago Aspas

Consistently among the most dangerous attackers in La Liga since he returned to Celta Vigo from Liverpool back in 2015, Aspas is something of a modern-day legend at Balaidos.

This season was not the first in which they could have easily been relegated were it not for his contributions.

Those performances saw him called up regularly for Spain between 2016 and 2023. There’s an argument that the 36-year-old veteran deserves to remain in the mix.

He notched nine goals and 10 assists for an otherwise ordinary Celta side in 2023-24, while his experience would provide a counterbalance to the youth of youngsters like Lamine Yamal.

ST: Borja Mayoral

As with his Getafe team-mate David Soria, Mayoral isn’t the sexiest name in European football.

But no Spanish player scored more goals in Europe’s five major leagues than Mayoral (15 – level with Alvaro Morata), so there’s certainly a case to be made he ought to have been considered.

The 27-year-old was linked with Arsenal back in January, but his goalscoring return hasn’t been enough to move beyond the likes of Ayoze Perez, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ferran Torres in the pecking order for Spain’s squad this summer.