For the first time since 11 November 2020, Unai Simón will miss a match for the Spanish National team. As reported by Marca, the 28-game run places the Athletic Club goalkeeper within the fourth longest streak for La Roja, being only behind Andoni Zubizarreta (49), Iker Casillas (33), and Zubizarreta again (29).
Unai Simón made his debut with the national team under Luis Enrique, who made the bold choice of trusting the then-23-year-old to make his debut in a friendly against the Netherlands, choosing him over Kepa Arrizabalaga and David De Gea. Since then, Simón hasn’t left the starting lineup, having cemented himself as the first choice with Spain.
The upcoming friendly against Norway will most likely see Kepa returning to the lineup to replace his compatriot, who is suffering from an Achilles tendon issue. The Chelsea goalkeeper has been called up for international duty for the first time in two and a half years.
Kepa’s poor Premier League form shortly after departing from Athletic saw his confidence crippled and performances waver. Added to a shoulder injury, Luis Enrique saw it best to replace an also underperforming De Gea with Unai Simón after a disastrous Nations League game against Ukraine.
Now, having momentarily recaptured his spot as Chelsea’s starting goalkeeper following Edouard Mendy’s injury, Kepa will also be hoping to gain Luis de la Fuente’s trust. He played seven official games and four friendlies for La Roja, having been Robert Moreno’s top choice between the sticks.
Nicolás Antúnez de Mayolo | GSFN