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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Mata disappointed by Spain omission

ESPN staff

Juan Mata has described his oversight from the Spanish side for the upcoming internationals against Belarus and France as 'tough'.

Mata was left out of the national team for last month's friendly against Saudi Arabia and World Cup Qualifier in Georgia after Chelsea requested he be given a break following a busy summer.

After a sizzling start to the Premier League season, the midfielder told readers of his blog on that he had high hopes of being recalled by Spain coach Vincente del Bosque.

"Not being called to join the national team was tough," Mata said."[It is] bad news for me, I can't deny it...even more since I feel in such a good moment. Obviously I was hoping to play with Spain, as I have done in the last four years.

"Every time I've played for my country, also in the previous categories, whatever my age, I've done so with great passion and I've tried to make the most of it.

"That's why I volunteered for the European Under-21 Championships two years ago and for the Olympic Games this last summer, right after the Euro Cup."

After naming his 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in Belarus and Spain over the next week, del Bosque put Mata's exclusion down to the strength of Spain's current crop of players.

"We have a problem with quantity, not quality," Del Bosque said. "It pains me to leave out some of those who haven't been called up, because there are others who could have been here.

"He wasn't in the previous list because we agreed with Chelsea that he had to have a break which he didn't have in the summer. But we haven't any space to bring him in this time."

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