After Spain were eliminated in the knockout round of the 2018 World Cup under, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol went on to appoint Luis Enrique as the national team’s new coach.

La Roja will face England and Croatia in Uefa Nations League games and the former Barcelona coach dropped Jordi Alba from the squad. Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and 23-year-old Jose Gaya of Valencia have been selected ahead of the Camp Nou player for the left-back position.

Ernesto Valverde’s side registered a 8-2 victory over Huesca in the last tie before the first international break of the season and the Catalan club fullback impressed with his display as he netted a goal and registered two assists.

The Barcelona left-back hailed his two compatriots – Alonso and Gaya – while talking to the media about his exclusion from Enrique’s first squad for the national team.

“I did not expect not to go with the selection and I don’t know why I’m not going, it was a surprise because I have spent many years coming in, but it does not depend on me,” the former Valencia man was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo. 

“It is a decision of the coach. I don’t know why I haven’t been called up. And also, respect to Gaya and Marcos Alonso, who are two big players in my position.”

Alba didn’t have the best of times with Enrique at Barcelona, and when the manager was leaving, the fullback publicly made it clear he hoped for better under Ernesto Valverde.