Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has been left out of Spain’s 55-player preliminary World Cup, meaning he won’t be going to Qatar next month.
De Gea established himself as Spain number one at Euro 2016, having already proven himself as arguably the best goalkeeper around over the preceding two years because of his club form.
He barely missed an international game for the next two years, but a sub-par 2018 World Cup resulted in the United stopper being benched by La Roja by the end of that calendar year.
De Gea continued to be call up for the national team but found himself fall down the pecking order, initially behind Kepa Arrizabalaga and then Unai Simon.
Athletic Club's Simon remains the current favoured number one for coach Luis Enrique, while De Gea hasn’t been called up at all since November 2021. His last time actually getting onto the pitch for Spain was two years ago in October 2020.
His omission was therefore likely to be expected, with Enrique increasingly turning to Brentford’s David Raya and Brighton’s Robert Sanchez as back-up to Simon. But to not even be included on the 55-player longlist shows just how far De Gea’s standing has dropped.
AS writes that the list, which must be cut by at least 29 players before the final tournament deadline, will not officially be made public at this stage. But there are five goalkeepers on it and De Gea is not among them. Instead, the aforementioned Kepa and Getafe’s David Soria are those named in addition to Simon, Raya and Sanchez, who are likely to be the three in Qatar.
De Gea, meanwhile, will not be in a Spain squad for a major international tournament for the first time since Euro 2012, before he made his senior debut.