world soccer 8.11.2018 03:58 pm

Jordi Alba returns as Spain name squad for Croatia, Bosnia

Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba clears the ball during the UEFA Champions League group B football match Inter Milan vs Barcelona on November 6, 2018 at San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba clears the ball during the UEFA Champions League group B football match Inter Milan vs Barcelona on November 6, 2018 at San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

Spain coach Luis Enrique ended the recent controversy over defender Jordi Alba by recalling the Barcelona left-back for an upcoming Nations League match against Croatia and a friendly with Bosnia.

Enrique, a former coach of Alba at Barcelona, courted controversy when he left Alba out of his first squad announcement in September.

Alba had been in the midst of a strong start to the season with the Catalan giants and many, including Spain stars Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos, felt Enrique had been wide of the mark when he left him out for games against England, Croatia and Wales.

On Thursday Enrique put an end to the polemic by recalling Alba to a 24-man squad that included debutants Brais Mendez of Celta Vigo and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso.

Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals also makes a notable return, two and a half years after his one and only call-up.

Real Madrid midfielder Isco returns to the fold following injury, although there was no place for Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso or in-form Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcacer.

Spain face Nations League opponents Croatia in Zagreb on November 15, and host Bosnia in a friendly in Las Palmas three days later.

Spain squad:

Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea/ENG), Pau Lopez (Real Betis)

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Diego Llorente (Real Sociedad), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Mario Hermoso (Espanyol), Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jonny Otto (Wolverhampton/ENG)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Pablo Fornals (Villarreal), Rodrigo, Saul (Atletico Madrid), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Brais Mendez (Celta Vigo), Isco (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea/ENG), Suso (AC Milan/ITA), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)

 

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