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Ozil’s replacement out of Spain’s World Cup squad

Real Madrid midfielder Isco has been left out of Spain’s 30-man provisional World Cup squad.

For three years Mesut Ozil was an integral part of Real Madrid and formed an incredible on-pitch communication with Cristiano Ronaldo. Between 2010 and 2013, the Germany international established himself as one of the world’s best creative midfielders.

However, on the final day of the summer transfer window last year, the 25-year-old was let go. Arsenal came in with a reported £42.5 million bid and Madrid did not think twice before accepting the offer. That’s because the Spanish giants already had signed his replacement.

Then 21, Isco was being considered as ‘the next big thing’ in Spanish football. Coming on the back of a breakthrough 2012-13 season, the Spaniard had been cherry-picked by the Madrid officials. The youngster’s performances for Malaga under Manuel Pellegrini (who is now at Manchester City) were superb, and there were signs of better things to come from the youngster.

However, things did not quite pan out as expected. Although Isco started the 2013-14 campaign well, tactical changes by coach Carlo Ancelotti in which there is no place for a playmaker meant that the 22-year-od has been consigned to the bench and has often played in positions that he is not really confident in.

And now one of Europe’s most talented young players has been left out of Spain’s 30-man provisional World Cup squad. Coach Vicente del Bosque named his squad on Tuesday, and there was no place on the teamsheet for the 22-year-old.

Another notable absentee is Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa, formerly of Liverpool, while Iker Casillas has retained his place despite his lack of playing time for the nine-time European champions.

Del Bosque will name his final 23-man squad for the tournament on May 25.

Spain’s provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Juventus), Pedro (Barcelona)

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