Spain name men’s football squad for Paris Olympics: Barcelona’s Pau Cubarsi, Fermin Lopez included


Spain have named their 22-player men’s football training squad for the 2024 Olympics, with Barcelona’s 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi among those included.

Midfielders Fermin Lopez and Alex Baena, who are both at Euro 2024 with Spain, have also been selected by head coach Santi Denia. They would follow Pedri in competing in both the European Championship and Olympics in the same summer, after the Barcelona midfielder played at the delayed Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

However, fellow eligible players Lamine Yamal, Nico Williams and Pedri, who have featured more heavily for Spain at Euro 2024, have not been selected.

Atletico Madrid forward Samu Omorodion, who is the subject of transfer interest from Chelsea, has also been included. The squad will be cut to 18 by July 3 ahead of the Games.

Manchester City’s Sergio Gomez is also included and is one of three overage players alongside Sporting Lisbon’s Abel Ruiz and Real Betis left-back Juan Miranda.

Gomez made only 15 appearances for Manchester City last season (George Wood/Getty Images)

Gomez made only 15 appearances for Manchester City last season (George Wood/Getty Images)

Teams participating in the men’s football tournament at the Olympics consist of under-23 sides, with up to three overage players permitted. However, because the Olympics takes place outside an official window for international football, FIFA rules state clubs are not obliged to release players for the tournament.

Barcelona defender Cubarsi, 17, was cut from Spain’s provisional squad ahead of Euro 2024, and he is joined on Spain’s defensive list by club teammate Garcia, who spent last season on loan at Girona. Both have been capped at senior international level and Garcia was part of the Spain squad that won a silver medal in Tokyo three years earlier.

The Olympics begins on Wednesday, July 24, just 10 days after the conclusion of Euro 2024. The final of the men’s Olympic tournament is on Friday, August 9 — a week before the start of the 2024-25 Premier League season.

The Spain team will meet next Monday at Ciudad del Futbol, the Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF) headquarters to begin their Olympic preparations. They travel to Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 17 to play a friendly against the USMNT the following day, before travelling to Paris ahead of their Olympic opener.

Spain face Uzbekistan, the Dominican Republic and Egypt in their Olympic group. Spain won the silver medal at Tokyo 2020 after a defeat to Brazil in the final.

A strong, sensible squad as Spain eye gold

Analysis from Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan

Olympic coach Denia has chosen a middle route by picking a strong Spain squad which should challenge for the gold medal, while sensibly not calling up some youngsters who he could in theory have selected.

The progress of Spain’s senior team through the current Euros in Germany meant that young wingers Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams were never going to be called up for Paris — especially after the controversy generated when starlets like Pedri suffered injury issues after playing both the Euros and Olympics in 2021.

However, Villarreal’s Baena and Barcelona’s Lopez, who are in Germany with the senior squad, will join up for the Olympics after the Euros end, which means little summer holidays for either.

Cubarsi has already played for the senior Spain side, but did not travel to Germany as it was decided that the Olympics made more sense at this stage of his development.

Pedri is still underage for the Olympics but was never considered. Eric Garcia, who spent last season on loan from Barcelona at Girona, has been picked for his second Olympic tournament.

Denia’s team play Uzbekistan in their opener on July 24, with Egypt and the Dominican Republic also in a group in which Spain start firm favourites.

Spain reached the final at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, when a team including Euro 2024 participants Pedri, Pau Torres, Unai Simon, Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal lost the decider to Brazil — Denia was assistant then to current senior coach Luis de la Fuente. La Roja have a proud history in the tournament, with a side including Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique winning the tournament on home soil in Barcelona in 1992.

Spain’s Olympic squad

Goalkeepers: Arnau Tenas (PSG), Joan Garcia (Espanyol), Alejandro Iturbe (Atletico Madrid).

Defenders: Marc Pubill (Almeria), Juanlu Sanchez (Sevilla), Eric Garcia (Barcelona, on loan at Girona), Cristhian Mosquera (Valencia), Pau Cubarsi (Barcelona), Jon Pacheco (Real Sociedad), Juan Miranda (Real Betis), Miguel Gutierrez (Girona).

Midfielders: Adrian Bernabe (Parma), Benat Turrientes (Real Sociedad), Alex Baena (Villarreal), Pablo Barrios (Atletico Madrid), Aimar Oroz (Osasuna).

Forwards: Sergio Gomez (Manchester City), Fermin Lopez (Barcelona), Diego Lopez (Valencia), Sergio Camello (Rayo Vallecano, Samu Omorodion (Atletico Madrid, on loan at Alaves), Abel Ruiz (Braga).

(Top photo: Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

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