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Spain

Six uncapped names in Spain squad to face USWNT & Sweden amid player protest

17:59 GMT+3 30/09/2022
Mapi Leon Jorge Vilda Spain Women split
Spain head coach Jorge Vilda has called up six uncapped players for fixtures against Sweden and the U.S. women's national team (USWNT) in October.
  • Fifteen players asked not to be summoned
  • Spanish FA backing Vilda
  • Leaves team depleted for October friendlies

WHAT HAPPENED? La Roja will be without many of its regulars, including eight names from Barcelona's incredible 2021 Champions League winning side and four England-based stars, for the games due to a player protest.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fifteen players sent a message to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) earlier this month requesting not to be called up to the squad until changes are made to "situations that affect our emotional and personal state, our performance and, consequently, the results of the selection and that could lead to undesirable injuries".

AND WHAT'S MORE: The RFEF is behind Vilda. It released a statement saying it "will only have committed footballers" and that these players will only return to the team "if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness".

SPAIN SQUAD IN FULL:

Goalkeepers: Misa Rodriquez (Real Madrid), Sun Quinones (Athletic Club), Enith Salon (Valencia).

Defenders: Oihane Hernandez (Athletic Club), Ivana Andres (Real Madrid), Ana Tejada (Real Sociedad), Rocio Galvez (Real Madrid), Maria Mendez (Levante), Olga Carmona (Real Madrid), Nuria Rabano (Barcelona), Lucía Rodríguez (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid), Anna Torroda (Valencia), Maitane Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Irene Guerrero (Levante), Claudia Zornoza (Real Madrid), Andrea Sánchez Falcón (Club America).

Forwards: Marta Cardona (Real Madrid), Ane Azkona (Athletic Club), Esther Gonzalez (Real Madrid), Alba Redondo (Levante), Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid),

WHAT THEY SAID: "I'm going to talk about the players who are called up and everyone who is part of this," Vilda said in his press conference. "I think the players who are here deserve it. And I've received a lot of calls from players who want to come here very much."

He added: "I also want to say that I don't wish what I'm going through these days on anyone."

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

Also missing are two key players who have previously spoken to the RFEF about this situation...

It means quite a lot of change from Vilda's last squad...

All in all, a lot has changed in the past month...

It's a scarcely-believable situation that one of the world's best teams is in ahead of next year's World Cup.

WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? Vilda's side will face Sweden at Estadio Nuevo Arcangel in Cordoba on Friday October 7 before welcoming the U.S., the reigning world champions, to El Sadar in Pamplona on Tuesday October 11.