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Glenn Gervot Ramos: Spain's record cap holder has been left out of Luis Enrique's squad.
# On the plane
Sergio Ramos left out of Spain World Cup squad; Jasper Cillessen the surprise Dutch omission
Sadio Mane in Senegal’s squad despite injury fear

LAST UPDATE | Nov 11th 2022, 5:48 PM

LUIS ENRIQUE HAS called up Barcelona forward Ansu Fati as he announced his Spain squad today.

The 20-year-old Barcelona forward was not used in September’s Nations League clashes and has not been at his best for his club this season.

Fati has four caps for his country and one goal, and has spent the best part of the last two seasons on the sidelines because of repeated knee injuries.

Luis Enrique included him in a list of 26 players for the tournament in Qatar, which did not include veteran Paris Saint-Germain defender Sergio Ramos, despite speculation he could return.

Ramos, who is Spain’s record appearance-maker on 180 games for the national team, has found fitness and form with his club this season.

Luis Enrique, who only brought 24 players to Euro 2020 out of a possible 26, has elected to select his full complement this time around.

As well as veteran players like Barcelona duo Sergio Busquets, who was in Spain’s World Cup winning squad in 2010, and Jordi Alba, the coach opted for younger, relatively untested options.

Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams and Valencia defender Hugo Guillamon were selected, along with Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino.

Luis Enrique has been criticised in the past for not calling up Real Madrid players, but Los Blancos pair Dani Carvajal and Marco Asensio were included.

Meanwhile, veteran Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was a surprise omission from the Netherlands’ World Cup squad announced by coach Louis van Gaal today.

Cillessen, 33, whom pundits say recently moved from Valencia to NEC Nijmegen to improve his chances of selection, was dropped in favour of Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow, Ajax’s Remko Pasveer and the surprise inclusion of Heeenveen’s Andries Noppert, the Dutch Royal Football Federation announced in a statement.

Cillessen, who made his debut for the Oranje in 2013 also featured in the team that finished third in the 2014 World Cup under Van Gaal, nicknamed the “Iron Tulip” because of his no-nonsense approach to management.

In total Cillessen has 63 appearances for his country and was also in the training squad before last year’s European Championship – but was then dropped in favour of another veteran Maarten Stekelenburg after contracting Covid-19.

Dutch media reported Cillessen “exploded with anger” after earlier hearing he was not in the selection, having told website Voetbal International in an interview in October he “hoped to be on the plane to Qatar”.

Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Steven Bergwijn, Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo are all expected to play a crucial role for the team that failed to qualify for Russia four years ago.

The Netherlands start their Group A campaign against Senegal on November 21 then play Ecuador four days later and then the hosts Qatar on November 29.

Senegal Sadio Mane in their World Cup squad despite the Bayern Munich forward being an injury doubt.

Mane was forced off in the 20th minute of Bayern’s midweek 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen.

It was later revealed the ex-Liverpool attacker had sustained an injury to his right leg, which cast doubt over his participation in the tournament in Qatar.

While Mane’s fitness remains up in the air and he is not set to feature in this weekend’s Bundesliga fixture with Schalke, he has been included in Senegal’s 26-man squad for the World Cup.

Senegal national team boss Aliou Cisse named the 30-year-old in a group on Friday morning that includes a number of Premier League players.

Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly, Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, Nottingham Forest midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, Pape Matar Sarr of Tottenham and Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy are all set to travel out to Qatar.

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Several Sky Bet Championship players, including QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, have also made the cut. Sheffield United forward Iliman Ndiaye is part of the 26-man squad as well.

Senegal play their first match on 21 November against Netherlands in Group A.

Elsewhere, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria were included in coach Lionel Scaloni’s 26-man Argentina squad after recovering from injuries but there was no place for Giovani Lo Celso.

Captain Lionel Messi will lead the squad in Qatar at his fifth and probably last World Cup.

Last month, Roma forward Dybala injured his thigh and Juventus winger Di Maria pulled his hamstring, seemingly putting their World Cup participation in doubt.

But Scaloni has decided to bring both despite neither playing in almost a month.

However, Villarreal midfielder Lo Celso, on loan from Tottenham, misses out as he needs surgery on his hamstring injury.

© Agence France-Presse

– © AFP 2022

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