César Azpilicueta’s late-career renaissance with the Spanish national team continues after being named to their squad for the upcoming World Cup. The Chelsea captain has collected 18 caps over the past 18 months, nearly doubling his career total: from 23 to 41 after turning 30 — though that’s more an indictment of the choices made by previous national team bosses rather than Azpilicueta himself.
But anyway, Dave’s going to Qatar, for his third World Cup, as just one of eight players on the team to ply their trade outside La Liga. After turning down a move to Barcelona in the summer and signing an extension instead, the 33-year-old has been heavily involved with Chelsea, possibly more so than expected even, as we deal with our defensive injury crisis.
Spain’s 26-man squad is as follows. They will take on Germany, Japan, and Costa Rica in the group stages.
GOALKEEPERS: Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sánchez (Brigthon), David Raya (Brentford)
DEFENDERS: César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), José Gayà (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Eric García (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Hugo Guillamón (Valencia)
MIDFIELDERS: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Gavi (Barcelona), Pedri (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (PSG), Rodri (Manchester City)
FORWARDS: Álvaro Morata (Atlético Madrid), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Pablo Sarabia (PSG), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal)