Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has been left out of the Spain squad to play Italy next week.
The midfielder made the move to Old Trafford last month in a £37 million deal from Chelsea, with one of the main reasons for him to play more regularly in the build up to the World Cup.
Mata has featured prominently since he signed for David Moyes but he’s been used several times out of his best position in central midfield, featuring on both the right and left wing, which seems to be the reason he’s been overlooked.
The Spaniard also suffers from the fact he was ineligible for the first leg of the Champions League game against Olympiakos and won’t feature in the return leg at Old Trafford, with his quality and creativity making him one of the few United players who could turn that tie around on Europe’s biggest stage.
Mata will now have to become one of the best players in the Premier League over the rest of the season to force his way back in ahead of the likes of Javi Martinez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.
“This is just a squad to play Italy, not for the World Cup - Some players not on this list have a lot of merit,” said Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque.
The Spain squad for the match against Italy is as follows;
Casillas, Reina, Valdes; Juanfran, J. Martínez, Ramos, Alba, Azpilicueta, Albiol; X. Alonso, Busquets, Xavi, Koke, Thiago, Iniesta, Navas, Cazorla, Cesc, Diego Costa; Negredo, Pedro, Silva.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald