European Headlines

Know what you don't know

Prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a foot injury to a striker for Spain is a major setback, according to reports.

Spain have been dealt a massive blow, as Atletico Madrid star Alvaro Morata has picked up a foot injury. The striker was involved in a collision with Mamadou Bayo early on in the La Liga clash with Cadiz on Saturday (October 29).

Los Rojiblancos confirmed the injury on Twitter by putting out a statement:

“Alvaro Morata was substituted due to a direct injury to his foot.”

With just 22 days left for the FIFA World Cup to kick off in Qatar, Morata’s absence would be a decisive blow for Luis Enrique, who is set to announce his La Roja squad on November 11.

Morata was included in his 55-man preliminary squad and looked certain to make the final 26-man team for the tournament. However, his participation could now be in doubt after sustaining an injury. Should he indeed miss out, it will be a huge loss for Spain.

📲| Álvaro Morata on Instagram: “Fortunately, [the injury] is only a heavy blow. Let’s go!” ✅

View image on Twitter

Morata scored three goals at Euro 2020 last summer, including against Croatia in the Round of 16 and eventual winners Italy in the semifinals.

More recently, the 30-year-old scored the winner against Portugal in Spain’s decisive UEFA Nations League game, which helped the Reds qualify for the last four.

If Morata is ruled out, Enrique will still have Borja Iglesias, Iago Aspas and Gerard Moreno to call upon, all seasoned forwards.

Iglesias has struck seven goals for Real Betis in La Liga this season, the most behind only Robert Lewandowski (13), while Aspas is behind him on six for Celta Vigo.

However, the latter hasn’t played in a Spanish jersey since 2019 but has been named in Spain’s preliminary squad by Enrique. La Roja have been drawn in Group E alongside Germany, Costa Rica and Japan, and will kick off their campaign on November 23 against Los Ticos.

Will Spain be underdogs in Qatar?

Spain have quietly risen from the ashes, reaching the semifinals of Euro 2020 last year and qualifying for the last four of the UEFA Nations League.

Following a dip in form since their Euro 2012 win, La Roja are looking more like their old selves with Luis Enrique running a taut ship.

This is Spain’s preliminary World Cup squad list has apparently been leaked.

Diego Llorente and Rodrigo Moreno make the cut. #lufc

View image on Twitter

He has once again called upon a squad that boasts a unique mixture of youth and experience — old guards along with talented young guns.

While Spain are not the favourites to go all the way in Qatar, the sheer amount of quality in all departments makes them a dark horse for the title.

To read more news, click here.