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Morata not happy with Spain snub

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But Julen Lopetegui says the Chelsea striker could still play in Russia

FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

When Spain’s squad for the March friendlies was announced, it could hardly have come as a surprise to Alvaro Morata that he wasn’t on it. He’s been injured and struggling for both form and game time for weeks.

Nevertheless, he wasn’t pleased, according to Marcos Alonso, who was selected (for the first time!) along with Cesar Azpilicueta.

“Alvaro wasn’t happy.

“He has gone through a difficult few months with a back injury. He is now 100 percent and the other day he scored.

“He is a very important player for us. I hope he will do well from here until the end of the season and he gets to go to the World Cup.”

-Marcos Alonso; source ESPN

Spain’s national team coach, Julen Lopetegui, will be delighted that Morata is upset. From his perspective, it means that Morata is motivated and will fight to make the World Cup squad. At Tuesday’s press conference he made a point of saying that the Chelsea striker can still win his way back in.

Spain v Italy - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

“Alvaro has always been with us. He’s had physical problems and he is not playing much and we hope he will get to have more minutes.

“His options of going to the World Cup are still intact. I’m certain Morata is going to have an extraordinary end to the season [and] that he is going to have a starring role for his team. He has great chances of making the squad.

”There are players that are not on the list that still have chances to go to the World Cup. This list is down to form, injuries and us wanting to see other players.”

-Julen Lopetegui

Morata has earned 23 caps and scored 13 goals for his national team. It probably doesn’t help his mood that the man he’s replacing at Stamford Bridge, Diego Costa, is in good form and probably has a firm grip on the starting job for Spain.

However, Chelsea have a minimum of nine games remaining in their season. It’s in everyone’s interest — club, country and player — for Alvaro to put together a timely hot streak and save both our season and his place in Russia.