Sergio Ramos has been left out of Spain’s squad for Euro 2020, with manager Luis Enrique opting to select no Real Madrid players in his 24-man squad.
The 35-year-old has struggled with muscle injures and a knee problem that required surgery, meaning he has only played once since March, when he was in the Real side that lost 2-0 to Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final, second-leg defeat at Stamford Bridge on May 5.
Spain will go into a major tournament for the first time in their history without any representatives from Real.
“It was a very difficult decision but he [Ramos] has not been able to play this season and has hardly trained since January,” said Enrique.
“I called him yesterday [Sunday] – it was hard, difficult.
“I feel bad, because he is very professional and he helps the national team a lot. And he can still help it in the future. But I have to look for the best for the squad.”
Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte is included, however, after he became available for selection after he switched nationality from France to Spain.
Brighton ‘keeper Robert Sanchez also gets the nod, despite being only the fourth choice at club at the start of the season.
Sanchez did not make his debut for the Seagulls until November but subsequently established himself as Graham Potter’s first choice ‘keeper.
Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga misses out on selection after losing his place in the Premier League side to Edouard Mendy this season.
Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas, Sevilla’s Jesus Navas and Sergio Canales of Real Betis are among the in-form La Liga players to miss the cut.
Enrique has selected only 24 players rather than the maximum 26-man squad allowed.
Spain Euro 2020 squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), David de Gea (Manchester United), Robert Sanchez (Brighton).
Defenders: Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Midfielders: Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Pedri (Barcelona), Thiago (Liverpool), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Fabian (Napoli), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traore (Wolves), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad).