Real Madrid’s Francisco “Isco” Alarcon and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez were left off Spain’s final squad for the European Championship on Tuesday.
The two were among six players competing for the final four spots available in the squad for the tournament in France.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque earlier Tuesday had announced a list with 19 players, leaving the final four spots open for those who played in Saturday’s Champions League final between Madrid and Atletico.
Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and uncapped Lucas Vazquez were included in the final squad, as well as Atletico’s Juanfran Torres and Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion. Madrid defender Dani Carvajal had already been ruled out of Euro 2016 because of a muscle injury sustained in the final won by his club in Milan.
The 21-year-old Niguez had been one of the surprises in the preliminary list announced by Del Bosque, but ended up losing his spot to Vazquez, a 24-year-old who impressed with Madrid this season. The coach had already left out veteran strikers such as Diego Costa and Fernando Torres.
“We tried to balance the squad. I think that with these 23 players we are covered,” Del Bosque said. “Others could have made it. The players who were dropped had the level to be here, but we can only take 23.”
Spain, the winner of the last two European Championships, defeated Bosnia 2-1 on Sunday in the first of its three warm-up matches before travelling to its training camp in France. It will still play South Korea in Austria on Wednesday and Georgia on June 7 in Getafe.
Spain’s first game at Euro 2016 is against the Czech Republic on June 13 in Toulouse. Its other Group D matches are against Turkey on June 17 in Nice and Croatia on June 21 in Bordeaux.