Explained: Why Spain made Alvaro Morata captain & when Barcelona players might reclaim international armband

Alvaro Morata España AzulGetty Images
  • Morata handed armband
  • Dani Carvajal vice-captain
  • Jordi Alba, Koke not in squad

WHAT HAPPENED? De la Fuente has named Morata Spain captain, with Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal deputising. Morata wore the armband last March against Albania, and now appears to be the skipper on a more permanent basis.

WHY IS MORATA THE NEW SPAIN CAPTAIN? The Atletico Madrid striker is the most-capped player in the current Spain squad, having represented his nation 61 times.

Both Atletico Madrid captain Koke and Barcelona's Jordi Alba have made more appearances, but neither are in the current squad. Morata, then, is the experienced option. Manchester City's Rodri is the next-most capped player with 39.

WHO WAS SNUBBED? De la Fuente had a number of options to choose from, refusing to give the armband to the likes of Nacho Fernandez and Dani Carvajal. Former captain Sergio Ramos was told he would not be selected for the current camp and announced his retirement shortly after.

WHO IS NEXT? Spain are in between generations, with a mixture of aging players and teenage stars. Barcelona centre-midfield duo Gavi and Pedri figure to be next up, although the two will likely need time to mature before inheriting the armband from the more senior members of the squad.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: De la Fuente is taking over his first camp as Spain's manager after Luis Enrique's departure. He faces the task of taking La Roja past Norway and Scotland.


Morata Atletico MadridGetty Images

Alvaro Morata SpainGetty Images

Koke Spain World Cup Qatar 2022Getty Images

WHAT'S NEXT FOR MORATA: The Atleti forward projects to be a significant part of the Spanish national team setup for the foreseeable future.