We have just barely two weeks of proper football left, before we take a six-week break for FIFA’s latest exercise in corruption, human rights violations, and oh yeah, a bit of mass entertainment as well. That latter bit still makes the World Cup the biggest sporting event on this planet, and still makes participation in the World Cup the pinnacle of a footballing career.
The final 26-man squads for this year’s World Cup are not due until November 13, but all qualified nations already have had to submit provisional squads from which those final 26 will be chosen, along with the standby players who can be drafted in (in case of injury or illness) until the very last
minute day. Most teams have chosen to keep these expanded lists a secret (even from the players themselves, as in the case of England!), though some have had no qualms about making them public.
Spain are like England, but the local media have sniffed out a few names supposedly on the list, and one of those is Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who’s last call-up and appearance was two year ago and last competitive match was back a Euro 2020/1 qualifier in 2019.
But Kepa’s having himself a major remontada, as they might say in Spain, and if he does make the final 26 (which includes three goalkeepers), it will have been well deserved indeed. AS’s report claims Kepa’s currently fourth on the depth chart and thus on the outside, but if any of the three ahead of him, Unai Simón, Robert Sánchez, or David Raya, go down, he’d be next in line to go. And who knows what can happen in the next two weeks!