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Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta earn Spain call-up for UEFA Nations League

“Rest”? What do you mean by “rest”?

Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Club football for Chelsea is done until August (or July, if you count preseason), but action for some of our players continues thanks to some international duty coming up next month.

In Europe, we will have a new edition of the Nations League, which is UEFA’s mechanism for trying to make it seem like friendly matches matter. Thus far, they have failed to actually make them matter, despite the competition giving another pathway for qualification for the Euros.

In any case, the Spanish national team announced the squad that will contest the first four matches of the 2022-23 Nations League A. The list includes two Chelsea wing-backs, Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta, who have greatly contributed to the success of the season that’s been despite their advancing ages and slowing legs.

The full call-up by manager Luis Enrique is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sánchez (Brighton), David Raya (Brentford);

DEFENDERS: Iñigo Martínez (Athletic Bilbao), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea);

MIDFIELDERS: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Gavi Paez (Barcelona), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid), Rodri (Manchester City), Thiago Alcântara (Liverpool), Carlos Soler (Valencia);

FORWARDS: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Pablo Sarabia (Sporting Lisbon), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Barcelona).

And speaking of Marcos and Dave, both are still “in limbo” over their futures, which may or may not involve a return to Spain and not just for international duty — and perhaps both to Barcelona, even. But given how we’ve already lost Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen to free agency, Chelsea’s incoming new decision-makers may try extra hard to keep the veteran pair and help ease the transition and rebuild process. They are both under contract through next season still, after all.

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