Friday 15 December 2017

Diego Costa, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres omitted from Spain's Euro 2016 squad

Manchester United's Juan Mata
Manchester United's Juan Mata Newsdesk Newsdesk

Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata have failed to make the provisional squad named by Vicente Del Bosque for Euro 2016.

Del Bosque named the squad he plans on using to defend Spain's title in France on Tuesday, with Costa and Mata among a whole host of household names to miss out on a place in the provisional 25-man squad.

Mata becomes the latest United player to be snubbed after Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick and Matteo Darmian all learning that they won't be on the plane to France in the past week.

Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres, Arsenal's Santi Cazorla and Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez were three other big names who failed to make the cut, while Hector Bellerin still awaits his first call up to the senior national team.

Costa has had a tough time since opting to dedicate his international career to Spain rather than Brazil. At the 2014 World Cup - his only major tournament to date - Spain crashed out of the group stages and now, after Chelsea put in the worst ever defence to a Premier League title, he misses out on the squad for the Euros altogether.

Mata has been underwhelming in an underachieving United side, registering just six goals and five assists in 37 league appearances this season. Given the number of creative midfielders who did make the squad - David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Isco, to name but four - it is hardly surprising that Mata did not make the cut.

Torres, top scorer at Euro 2012 and resurgent under Diego Simeone, misses out despite helping Atletico to the Champions League final, while fitness issues did for Martinez and Cazorla, both of whom missed large chunks of the season through injury.

“We have weighed everything up,” Del Bosque said. “We do not want to call up too many people with doubts over their fitness. The Cazorla situation is very like Diego’s – he has been out five months, made a great effort to be ready, but we can’t have many doubts.”

Del Bosque has made a few rather surprising calls as he looks to improve on the terrible showing in Brazil two years ago. Valencia striker Paco Alcacer misses out despite being Spain's top scorer in qualifying.

Instead, 35-year-old Athletic Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz makes the squad on the back of a 20-goal season, while Juventus's Alvaro Morata is the only other natural centre-forward.

Del Bosque has previous when it comes to playing without a striker - winning the last European Championship with Fabregas playing as a 'false nine'.

Here is the 25-man squad:

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