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Jordi Alba

Alba returns to Spain squad as Luis Enrique bows to pressure

11:25 GMT 08/11/2018
Jordi Alba Spain
The La Roja head coach has included the Barcelona full-back in his latest squad ahead of facing Croatia in their final UEFA Nations League group game

Spain boss Luis Enrique has called up Jordi Alba for the team's upcoming November internationals, after leaving him out of his first squad back in September.

The two men worked together for three years at Barcelona between 2014 and 2017, winning the Champions League and two La Liga titles, but the 48-year-old manager snubbed his former charge in his first action with the national team.

Alba played no part in the September and October fixtures against England, Croatia and Wales, despite numerous figures in the game and colleagues of the defender criticising Enrique's final decision.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos described him as "one of the best in the world in his position", while his Barca teammate Gerard Pique publicly called for the Spanish chief to change his mind, as he stated: "I hope that Lucho rectifies the situation and brings Jordi Alba to the national team."

Enrique spoke to Marca ahead of naming his latest squad and fielded questions about the possibility of including Alba, responding frankly: "Jordi Alba? He's at a very high level, but has always been like this."

The Barca star has now seen that standing recognised by being restored to the national team ranks.

Alba's inclusion is not the only big news to come out of this latest announcement though, as in-form Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcacer has been omitted, while Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has also been left out despite his strong displays in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid midfielder Isco returns to the international fold after injury and Real Sociedad centre-back Diego Llorente has been called up two years since his last international cap.

Spain will first take on Croatia in the UEFA Nations League on November 15, before a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina three days later.


Goalkeepers: Pau, De Gea, Kepa

Defenders: Otto, Azpilicueta, Diego Llorente, Ramos, Hermoso, Inigo, Gaya, Alba

Midfielders: Sergi Roberto, Ceballos, Brais, Rodri, Busquets, Fornals, Saul

Forwards: Suso, Rodrigo, Aspas, Morata, Asensio, Isco