12 years after Xavi and Iniesta donned the iconic #6 and #8 for Spain en route the World Cup win, the responsibility of midfield has fallen on the shoulders of two different Barcelona aces – Pedri and Gavi.
While the former was brought in from Las Palmas as a prodigious talent, the latter is a homegrown talent, coming through La Masia. Luis Enrique has chosen the duo over the likes of Fabian Ruiz and Thiago Alcantara to lead La Roja‘s midfield.
Spain have confirmed the official jersey numbers of the national team, Pedri will wear the #26 jersey during the tournament, while Gavi will take over the #9 number.
While conventionally reserved for a striker, Spain follows the system of simply swapping the jersey number of a player who has been replaced by another.
Barcelona do have a fair few other representatives going to the World Cup for Spain, like Eric Garcia, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. Alejandro Balde was also in contention, but Lucho eventually preferred Jose Gaya and Alba over the youngster at left-back.
Ferran, Alba, and Busquets will wear the #11, #18 and #5, respectively, as they do for Barcelona. Garcia takes over the #3 from Borja Iglesias, who has not been called up.
Finally, Ansu Fati will don #25, which is quite a shift from his iconic #10 from Barcelona. That number has gone to Marco Asensio.
Spain are drawn up against Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan in Group E. They will lock horns against Costa Rica for the opening gameday of the tournament, before taking on Germany in the second round.
One can expect them to make it past the group stages without too much hassle, after which they will meet one of Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, and Canada from Group F.