Manchester United’s David de Gea was dropped from the Spain squad on Friday, with Brentford goalkeeper David Raya a surprise inclusion by coach Luis Enrique.
De Gea has not played for Spain since October 2020 but he was in the previous squad in November and has been in excellent form for United this season.
Luis Enrique may have doubts about De Gea’s distribution in his system and it was notable he praised that aspect of Raya’s game in a press conference on Friday.
“He has been doing very well for a long time and I really want to see him in the context of the national team,” said Luis Enrique.
“I think he has the profile to be a good goalkeeper for the national team, because of his quality, his ability to manage any game situation with the ball at his feet and to dominate, which is something our team’s goalkeeper does. Probably it is a surprise for many people, not for us.”
Barcelona midfielder Pedri, Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso and Atletico Madrid winger Marcos Llorente all returned.
Sergio Busquets was left out, although Luis Enrique said the 33-year-old is being rested due to the amount of minutes he has played for Barca this season.
“I want to have the best Busquets in June and I have decided that he should have some days off. He is having a spectacular season,” said Luis Enrique.
Spain play two friendlies over the upcoming international break, against Albania on March 26 and Iceland on March 29.
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton), David Raya (Brentford).
Defenders: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Rodrigo Hernandez (Manchester City), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona), Gavi (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Valencia)
Forwards: Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Pablo Sarabia (Sporting Lisbon), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Raul de Tomas (Espanyol), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal).