Spain head coach Luis Enrique gambles on Ansu Fati in his 2022 World Cup squad

Spain boss Luis Enrique confirmed that his decision to include forward Ansu Fati in his 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was a late call.

The 20-year-old Fati has struggled for a regular starting place in Barcelona over the last 18 months following knee surgery in November 2020, shortly after making his last appearance for Spain.

Then his 2021/22 campaign was cut short as he battled with recovery from the injury along with hamstring issues.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has only used Fati sparingly, in just three La Liga starts, so far.

Enrique then elected to leave Fati out of his for the UEFA Nations League games in September due to lack of match time with the Catalans, but now things have changed and the player has been included in the final World Cup squad.

"It's been one of the main doubts until the last minute. I have gambled on him over other players," Enrique said as per reports from Marca.

"Ansu's level is unquestionable. He's gone through a difficult time and I had doubts until the last second.

"Is he close to his best level? We'll have to see about that.

"I think it can be a great stimulus for him to return to the squad, but there are doubts.

"We will see what happens during the World Cup," Enrique added.

Spain will play a pre-tournament friendly against Jordan on November 17, where Fati is likely to get game time, before their first World Cup game against Costa Rica in Group E six days later.

Spain World Cup Squad:

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford).

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona).

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