PHOTOS: Azpilicueta, Cazorla and De Gea in international training

The three Premier League stars are currently in training with the Spanish national team.

It has not been an easy year for the Spanish national football team. So used to having it all their own way, in recent times it has been a lot tougher for the former World Champions.

They were dismal at the World Cup this summer. After suffering defeats against the Netherlands and Chile their hopes of retaining their crown were crushed.

They have not exactly performed well since. They were defeated by France in an international friendly before thrashing Macedonia 5-1. But a defeat against Slovakia undid most of their good work which their most recent result, a 4-0 win against Belarus, can not cover up.

Next up is Belarus in a European qualifier on Saturday, with a prestige friendly against Germany the following Tuesday.

And plenty of Premier League players have been called up, plenty have also been ignored. Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been given extra time to rest his weary muscles. Fellow Chelsea players Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas were called up. Fabregas stayed at Chelsea because of injury while Azpi is with the Spanish squad at the moment.

No luck for Nacho Monreal or perhaps the even more hopeful Mikel Arteta of Arsenal, neither got the nod this time around. But with David Silva of Manchester City injured Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla was always likely to retain his place in the squad.

Manchester United is of course another interesting avenue to explore. Ander Herrera and Juan Mata were told to stay behind. However, the Manchester United player of the month David De Gea is with the squad - for what could be a career defining week. He has to prove to Vicente Del Bosque that as well as being United's number one, he deserves to be Spain's after Iker Casillas' recent struggles.

Here are some pictures of the Premier League boys in action...

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