World Cup squads round-up: Spain leave out Thiago Alcantara and Sergio Ramos

Sadio Mané makes the cut for Senegal despite injury; uncapped Xavi Simons makes Netherlands squad

Spain have included Barcelona’s Ansu Fati but left out the Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcântara and the Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea from their World Cup squad.

Fati, 20, made his international debut in 2020 at 17 and in his second game became the youngest player to score for Spain. But the forward is fighting back from four surgeries to repair an injury to his left knee, sustained in November 2020.

Spain’s coach, Luis Enrique, said: “I doubted until the last minute but I decided for him because his technical qualities are amazing and being here with us could work as a big motivation for him as he’s still working to get back to peak form.”

The coach declined to comment on players who were left out, but the absence of De Gea, Thiago and Marcos Alonso points to his preference to go all-in with Spain’s new generation of talent.


De Gea has fallen out of favour with Luis Enrique, who said in March he “wanted to test other goalkeepers”, and Thiago saw his role diminish with the rise of the Barcelona teenagers Pedri and Gavi.

“Youth gives you freedom because you are not yet aware of the consequences,” Luis Enrique said. “Yet most of the youngsters that are with us are already in high-level teams. The bar that I’m setting is infinity.”

The former Barcelona coach said he had never had any doubts about whether he was the best man for the job. “How can I doubt myself? I am the best coach on the face of the earth,” he said. “If I have to convince my players I have to be convinced myself ... There is no better coach than me. I know it’s not true, but I believe it. Doubts? None!”

Spain squad

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Club), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford FC).

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia CF), Pau Torres (Villarreal CF), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia CF).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico de Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico de Madrid).

Forwards: Ferran Torres (FC Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Club), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal CF), Alvaro Morata (Atletico de Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona).


The Senegal striker Sadio Mané will undergo medical checks in Munich in 10 days to monitor his recovery from an injury that could rule him out of the World Cup despite his being named in the squad on Friday. Mané sustained an injury to his right fibula in Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win against Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

“I don’t even know what a witch doctor is,” Bayern’s coach, Julian Nagelsmann, said in response to a suggestion by the Fifa general secretary, Fatma Samoura, that her compatriot Mané could be treated by “witch doctors” to get him fit. “In 10 days we will do a check on him again to see how his recovery and progress has gone and we will take it from there.

“Obviously [Senegal] really want him to play but we have to wait and see how the medical situation is. If he can’t play he can’t play, whether the FA want him or not.”

Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cissé, said the federation’s doctor had examined Mané on Thursday and had been told he would not require surgery. “We now have two weeks to observe and see how the injury reacts to treatment,” Cissé said. “I prefer to keep him in the squad because he is such an important part of us ... We will do all in our power to ensure we can recover Mané in time to play.”

Senegal squad

Goalkeepers: Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfred Gomis (Rennes), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea).

Defenders: Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Pape Abdou Cisse (Olympiakos), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis).

Midfielders: Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Krepin Diatta (Monaco), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Mamadou Loum Ndiaye (Reading), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United), Ismaila Sarr (Watford).


The Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal, included the injured Barcelona forward Memphis Depay and the uncapped teenager Xavi Simons in his squad but left out the veteran goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Depay has not played since limping off against Poland on 22 September and has played less than 150 minutes for Barcelona this season. But Van Gaal had already said his top scorer would be certain of a place as long as there was a chance of him playing.

Xavi Simons, 19, has made a strong impression since his move from Paris St-Germain to PSV Eindhoven, scoring eight goals in 13 league matches.

Netherlands squad

Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax).

Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan).

Midfielders: Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax).

Forwards: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noah Lang (Club Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas).


The injured forward Paulo Dybala made the cut as the Argentina coach, Lionel Scaloni, named his squad. Dybala has not played for Roma since early last month. Ángel Di María and Nicolás Otamendi were included but Giovani Lo Celso is out with a hamstring injury. His place has been taken by Exequiel Palacios.

There are five Premier League players included in the squad – Emiliano Martinez, Lisandro Martinez, Cristian Romero, Alexis MacAllister and Julian Alvarez. Argentina will be captained by seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.

Argentina squad

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa), Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal).

Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyon), Juan Foyth (Villarreal).

Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Alejandro Papu Gomez (Sevilla), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen)

Forwards: Angel Di María (Juventus), Lautaro Martinez (Internazionale), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Internazionale), Paulo Dybala (Roma) and Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain).


Qatar’s all-time top scorer Almoez Ali and Akram Afif are set to lead the attack for the World Cup hosts after coach Felix Sanchez named his 26-man squad.

Sanchez has opted for most of the squad who helped Qatar win the Asian Cup in 2019, where Ali – who has 42 goals in 85 games for his country – was top scorer with nine while his strike partner Afif also netted in the final when they beat Japan 3-1.

With more than 160 caps, Hasan Al-Haydos is the most experienced player on the list and the Al Sadd midfielder, who can also play as a winger, will lead Qatar at the finals.

The squad is entirely made up of players who ply their trade in the Qatar Stars League, with half from champions Al Sadd.

Qatar squad

Goalkeepers: Saad Alsheeb, Meshaal Barsham, Yousef Hassan

Defenders: Pedro Miguel, Musaab Khidir, Tarek Salman, Bassam Al-Rawi, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Homam Ahmed, Jassem Gaber

Midfielders: Ali Asad, Assim Modibo, Mohammed Waad, Salem Al-Hajri, Moustafa Tarek, Karim Boudiaf, Abdelaziz Hatim, Ismail Mohamad

Forwards: Naif Alhadhrami, Ahmed Alaaeldin, Hassan Al-Haydos, Khalid Muneer, Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, Mohamed Muntari (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Ahmed Maher in Cairo; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris)


Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard named his 26-man squad for the World CupSaudi Arabia are in Group C alongside Argentina, Mexico and Poland.

Saudi Arabia squad

Goalkeepers: Mohamed Al-Owais (Al-Hilal), Nawaf Al-Aqidi (Al-Nassr), Mohamed Al-Yami (Al-Ahly)

Defenders: Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal), Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al-Hilal), Abdulelah Al-Amri (Al-Nassr), Abdullah Madu (Al-Nassr), Hassan Tambakti (Al-Shabab), Sultan Al-Ghanam (Al-Nassr), Mohammed Al-Breik (Al-Hilal), Saud Abdulhamid (Al-Hilal)

Midfielders: Salman Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal), Riyadh Sharahili (Abha), Ali Al-Hassan (Al-Nassr), Mohamed Kanno (Al-Hilal), Abdulelah Al-Malki (Al-Hilal), Sami Al-Najei (Al-Nassr), Abdullah Otayf (Al-Hilal), Nasser Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal), Abdulrahman Al-Aboud (Ittihad), Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al-Shabab)

Forwards: Fahad Al-Muwallad (Al-Shabab), Haitham Asiri (Al-Ahly), Saleh Al-Shehri (Al-Hilal) Firas Al-Buraikan (Al-Fateh)