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Mixed fortunes for Chelsea players in Spain's new look team, Man United star earns surprise recall

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It is going to be a dressing room of mixed emotions as former Arsenal captain and current Chelsea benchwarmer Cesc Fabregas has been excluded from the Spanish national team picked by new head coach Julen Lopetegui for upcoming games against against Belgium (friendly) and Liechtenstein (World Cup Qualifier).

Chelsea's prolific yet often controversial hitman Diego Costa has been recalled to the national team, however, his fellow Spanish forward in the Chelsea dressing room Pedro has also been dumped. A fourth Spaniard in the Chelsea ranks, Cesar Azpilicueta, retains his place.

Making the squad all the more interesting is the return of Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata, who rumour has it has given up his search for a new club and is prepared to see how much playing time Jose Mourinho gives him over the course of the coming months.

Also on the absentee list is former Spanish skipper Iker Casillas, axed after having played 167 times for the national team. That means Manchester United star David de Gea is now the undisputed no.1.

Across town in Manchester, City duo David Silva and Nolito are included, but there is still no place for the fit again Arsenal star Santi Cazorla, who may also now struggle to get back in the reckoning on account of being the wrong side of 30.

Lopetegui coach kept 13 players, who played in European Championship 2016 in France, in addition to 11 new ones: Adrian, Pepe Reina, Sergi Roberto, Carvajal, Javi Martinez, Saul, Mata, Marco Asensio, Vitolo, Paco Alcacer and Diego Costa.


Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Adrian (West Ham)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (both Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).

Midfielders: Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Juan Mata (Manchester United)

Forwards: Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Nolito (Manchester City), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid), Vitolo (Sevilla), Diego Costa (Chelsea).