It’s a real blow for Mata as he has suffered same fate at Manchester United with Louis van Gaal preferring Wayne Rooney in the No.10 position, although he is likely to get a good run of games now due to Rooney’s absence.
As for De Gea, it is only a matter of time before he is considered Spain’s No.1 choice goalkeeper as Iker Casillas has lost his status as the first name on the teamsheet with some very poor performances including some howlers at the 2014 World Cup.
For Mata, it is now a case of working himself back into the Spain squad. Given the plethora of midfield talent Del Bosque can call upon, some players inevitably have to miss out but Mata certainly deserves a spot in the squad.
Ander Herrera was in line to receive his first call up to the national team as well before injury ruled him out.
Here is Spain’s squad in full: