Spain head coach Vincente del Bosque has warned skipper Iker Casillas and striker Alvaro Morata they face being left out of his squad for Euro 2016 if their form does not improve (Spain 11/2 – Euro 2016 outright).
Goalkeeper Casillas has skippered La Roja to two European Championships and a World Cup in the last eight years but faces losing his starting berth after a series of poor performances for new club Porto.
The 34-year-old made the move from Real Madrid to the Portuguese giants last summer having been usurped by Keylor Navas as first choice at the Bernabeu.
Casillas’ time in Portugal has been blighted by a series of high-profile mistakes and he has recently faced criticism in the media for his performances.
Casillas did struggle during his final few seasons at Real but Del Bosque stuck by him, keeping him in the national team ahead of Manchester United’s David de Gea.
However, with a disastrous World Cup campaign fresh in the memory, the Spain head coach has now warned Casillas he will have to earn his place in the squad for this summer’s tournament.
“Nobody is guaranteed a place here,” he told Goal. “We have players in mind, but there is no definitive list. Not until May 17th, when we hand in the list. That will be the day when people find out. Let’s hope we get it right with most of them.
“Will Casillas be there or not? I hope so. But there are still some months left and we will act as we see fit. But [if he’s there it will be] because of his prestige, his career, what he means for the national team and because he plays for a big club.
“He hasn’t stopped playing and he’s not inactive. He’s playing. And I speak about Casillas because you asked me about him, but not because he is any different to any other players in other teams.”
Del Bosque went on to issue a similar warning to Morata, who has struggled to nail down a starting berth at Juventus this season.
Morata, who is 20/1 to be the Euro 2016 topscorer, was one of the catalysts for Juve’s run to the Champions League final last term but he has been unable to dislodge Mario Mandzukic and Paul Dybala from the Italian’s line-up this season, starting just eight Serie A matches.