Takehiro Tomiyasu was taken aback that Thiago Alcantara isn’t in the Spain squad for the World Cup, admitting he doesn’t watch their games.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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…”

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.

Liverpool's Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (2R) fouls Arsenal's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (R) in the box to concede a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 9, 2022. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (2R) fouls Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (R) in the box to concede a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 9, 2022. (Photo by IAN KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP via Getty Images)

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.

As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions," according to Amnesty International.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.