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Spain’s Euro 2024 squad: Pedri and Fermin Lopez included, no Marco Asensio

Barcelona midfielder Pedri has been named in Spain’s preliminary squad for Euro 2024.

Head coach Luis de la Fuente has revealed a 29-man initial group which will need to be cut down before the UEFA deadline of June 7.

Pedri — who last played for his country in the last-16 exit at the Qatar World Cup in 2022 — is joined by team-mate Fermin Lopez, the 21-year-old who has enjoyed a breakout season and made his national team debut back in October. Defender Pau Cubarsi, 17, has also been included.

De La Fuente said: “Nobody doubts Pedri’s talent, the great footballer he is. Pedri needs to find Pedri, and he is on that path, and we will help him.”

Real Madrid defender Nacho, Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente and Ayoze Perez of Real Betis have all been named.

Gavi tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) back in November and was already ruled out.

There is no place for Paris Saint-Germain forward Marco Asensio in the squad.

Spain have been drawn in Group B for the European Championship in Germany alongside Italy, Croatia and Albania.

They kick off their tournament against Croatia on June 15 before taking on Italy for a repeat of the Euro 2021 semi-final on June 20.

They round out the group against Albania in Dusseldorf on June 24.

‘Few surprises but midfield decisions to make’

There were no huge surprises in the 29 man provisional squad named by De La Fuente at Las Rozas, with an injury for Real Betis’ Isco last week taking away the most high-profile decision he had to make.

The return of Real Madrid defender Nacho, who was not in a squad since summer 2023 Nations League finals, had been flagged in advance, as had Barcelona midfielder Pedri finally being fit for inclusion in a squad for the first time in De La Fuente’s time as coach.

Two new faces in the 29 were Barca attacking midfielder Fermin Lopez and Real Betis — and former Newcastle United and Leicester City — forward Ayoze Perez, while Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente also got his first call up since the 2022 World Cup.

(Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

De La Fuente said after announcing the list that everyone had the same chances of making the 26 — but some of the 10 midfielders are most likely to be cut. Which means fringe players such as Villarreal’s Alex Baena and Girona’s Aleix Garcia will battle with Pedri, Fermin and Llorente for places on the plane.

The Athletic also asked if Barca duo Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal could participate in both the Euros and Olympics, pressing whether, in making this decision, the example of Pedri in 2021 was taken into consideration. De La Fuente, who was the Olympics coach at the time, selected Pedri, leading him to play a record number of games, which later resulted in lingering fitness issues.

“We are just thinking about the Euros,” De La Fuente said. “What happens next, well the Olympics coach is Santi Denia. He and his staff are working very hard. I know as I did myself in that moment. They know much better than me the circumstances in their team. So when the Euros are over, the situation will be weighed up, and decisions made over which players go (to the Olympics) or not. This is not the moment. I am just focusing on the Euros.”

The final 26 will not be named until June 7, after next week’s first friendly against Andorra in Badajoz on June 5, but before the game against Northern Ireland in Palma de Mallorca on June 8.

Spain preliminary squad in full

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

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

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

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



Euro 2024 favourites: how England, France, Spain and others are shaping up

(Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

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