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Spain name Torres, Perez in Euro 2024 squad, Asensio left out

FORWARD Marco Asensio was the surprise omission when three-time champions Spain named their 29-man preliminary squad for the European Championship as Ferran Torres and Ayoze Perez made the cut.

Barcelona teenagers Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi were also included along with teammate Fermin Lopez who received his first call-up.

Real Madrid centre-back Nacho returned to the squad as defenders Sergio Ramos, Pau Torres and Pedro Porro missed out but the omission of Paris St Germain’s Asensio was the biggest shock.

“I admire Asensio. Let’s focus on those who are here and give them the value they deserve,” coach Luis de la Fuente told a news conference on Monday.

“I am left with their (Torres and Perez) enthusiasm. In addition to their talent, they have shown enthusiasm. They are very versatile players. Fermin is going to make a leap forward with this call-up. I hope they show all the potential they have.”

“Maybe one of those players that now I’m thinking that wouldn’t make the cut for the tournament changes my mind and make his case to deserve a place in the final 26-man squad” De La Fuente said.

The deadline for naming the final squad is June 7.

“Unfortunately, there could be injuries,” De La Fuente said. “We want to give guarantees and minimise the risks.”

Last year’s UEFA Nations League champions Spain play home friendlies against Andorra and Northern Ireland before travelling to Germany where they begin their Group B campaign against Croatia on June 15 in Berlin.

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De La Fuente said he was confident Spain had the ability to go deep in the tournament.

“In everyone’s mind are the teams that are going to go all the way in this European Championship,” he said. “This story has a certain end. Only two teams are going to make it. We are going to try to fight to go all the way.”

Spain preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Remiro (Real Sociedad), David Raya (Arsenal).

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Aymeric Laporte (Al-Nassr), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad), Pau Cubarsi (Barcelona), Dani Vivian (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Rodrigo (Manchester City), Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Fabian Ruiz (Paris St-Germain), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Pedri (Barcelona), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Aleix Garcia (Girona), Alex Baena (Villarreal), Fermin Lopez (Barcelona).

Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Joselu (Real Madrid), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Ayoze Perez (Real Betis), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Lamine Yamal (Barcelona).

By FERNANDO KALLAS

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