Spain name SIX players from Euro 2020 squad in 22-man Olympics party, including Barcelona’s Pedri, with the Catalan side ‘set for talks with the Spanish FA’ amid fears he could miss the start of LaLiga season’… which starts a WEEK after the Games
- Spain have named their 22-man football squad for the Tokyo Olympics
- Six players from Euro 2020 have been selected amid fears they could burn out
- Barcelona are reportedly unhappy that midfielder Pedri will not get a break
- The Olympics is set to finish on August 8 – a week before start of LaLiga season
- Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here
The Spanish Football Federation have risked the wrath of its clubs by naming six players from Euro 2020 in its squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
Goalkeeper Unai Simon, Eric Garcia, Pau Torres – a target for Manchester United, Mikel Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo and Barcelona’s Pedri have all been picked by Olympics coach Luis de la Fuente, despite being part of Luis Enrique’s group set to feature in the quarter-finals of the European Championships.
It has led to fears that the players could suffer from burnout and will not get a full break before the start of the LaLiga season – which begins just a week after the Games in Japan conclude, with Barcelona reportedly unhappy over Pedri’s inclusion.
Barcelona’s Pedri (L) and Dani Olmo (R) are among six Euro 2020 players named in Spain’s 22-man football squad for the Tokyo Olympics
Luis Enrique’s men are through to the quarters and will fancy their chances of going all the way
And according to Spanish journalist Jordi Marti, the Catalan outfit are set to hold talks with football chiefs to block Pedri from the Games, despite clubs being obligated to release players.
Enrique started Simon on goal, Garcia in defence and Pedri in midfield for their 5-3 win over Croatia in Copenhagen this week, which went to extra time, while Torres and Olmo have also featured at the tournament.
Spain will be favourites to overcome Switzerland in the quarter-finals and will face Belgium or Italy if they make the semis.
Barcelona are reportedly in talks with the FA over Pedri’s inclusion amid fears of burnout
The Euros will run to July 11 should Spain make the final, while the Olympics start on July 23 and end on August 8 – with the 2021-22 LaLiga campaign then kicking off on August 13.
Speaking after the squad announcement, De La Fuente said all the players he selected would arrive ‘greatly motivated’ despite a long domestic season and some taking part in the Euros, saying he hopes those individuals come off the back of European glory.
‘These players will arrive greatly motivated, with greater experience,’ De la Fuente said. ‘They are young players with spectacular quality. Hopefully they will arrive just after the (Euro 2020) final, after having won the title.’
De la Fuente said some international clubs denied the request to release players, as is their right. Clubs are forced to let personnel take part due to local legislation.
Goalkeeper Unai Simon (left) and Eric Garcia (R) are among the other stars who could receive little break before the start of the LaLiga season on August 13
‘We are lucky that the Spanish clubs have the obligation to release players,’ he said.
The only players from non-Spanish clubs in the Olympic squad are Olmo of RB Leipzig and Rafa Mir of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The three players over 24 in Spain’s squad will be Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Mikel Merino.
Ceballos hadn’t been called up for the senior team because of an injury, while Asensio recently lost his place in the team coached by Luis Enrique.
The absence of veteran Sergio Ramos ended speculation about whether he would be on the Olympic list after being left off the Euro 2020 squad following a season plagued by injuries.
Sergio Ramos had been tipped for a place in the squad but was left out by Luis de la Fuente
‘I’m sure he understands the circumstances that made me make this decision,’ De la Fuente said. ‘I had to reward the players who helped us make it to the Olympic Games.’
He said Spain and other associations have asked officials to allow national teams to take 22 players instead of the 18 that are currently the maximum allowed at the Olympic tournament.
Spain won the Olympics in men’s soccer in 1992 in Barcelona. It won the silver medal in 2000 in Sydney and in 1920 in Antwerp.
Spain is scheduled to open its Tokyo Games campaign against Egypt on July 22.
SPAIN’S TOKYO OLYMPICS SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Alvaro Fernandez (Huesca), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Alex Dominguez (Las Palmas)
Defenders: Oscar Mingueza (Barcelona), Jesus Vallejo (Granada), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Oscar Gil (Espanyol), Juan Miranda (Real Betis)
Midfielders: Marc Cucurella (Getafe), Jon Moncayola (Osasuna), Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Pedri Gonzalez (Barcelona)
Forwards: Bryan Gil (Sevilla), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Rafa Mir (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Javier Puado (Espanyol)
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