Arsenal centre-back Takehiro Tomiyasu is at the World Cup with Japan this month, but he faces a very difficult group stage up against Germany, Spain, and Costa Rica.
Speaking to the media this week, Tomiyasu was asked a question about group rival Spain, specifically his favourite player from the side. The Arsenal man was surprised to learn that his pick hadn’t even been selected for the squad.
“Thiago,” Tomiyasu said. “He’s not coming?! Okay, sorry, I didn’t know that! To be honest, I didn’t see the Spanish games, so…”
Takehiro Tomiyasu names his favourite Spain national team player: “Thiago.”
Journalist: “Thiago Alcantara? He’s not coming [to the World Cup].”
Tomiyasu: “He’s not coming?! Sorry, I didn’t know that!”
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 22, 2022
Fortunately for Tomiyasu, Japan faced Germany in their opening game and Costa Rica after that, so he still has until December 1st to do his research on the Spain team – before playing against them.
It was certainly a surprise to many football fans to see Thiago missing out on the Spain squad. The Liverpool 31-year-old is widely considered to be one of the most talented midfielders around.
Perhaps his injury history played a part, as Thiago is constantly out of action with various fitness setbacks, including the hamstring injury he picked up in August and another knock he suffered in late October.
When you have a fixed squad, you ideally don’t want players pulling out with an injury halfway through the tournament.
You’d think that would be a risk you’d take to get Thiago involved, but maybe not.