The Japan full-back was clearly looking forward to locking horns with the Liverpool midfielder in Group E of the tournament – naming Thiago as his favourite Spanish player when asked by reporters.
Thiago has been a key player for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds when fit. However, he’s struggled to hold down a place in a Spain squad stacked with talent.
Despite La Furia Roja’s World Cup squad boasting a host of impressive midfield options, including Rodri, Pedri, Gavi and Sergio Busquets, Tomiyasu was stunned to hear that Thiago hadn’t been selected for the trip to Qatar.
“He’s not coming?!” asked the Arsenal defender in disbelief, per AS, when told of Thiago’s omission from the Spanish party.
After seemingly allowing himself a few moments to absorb what he had just been told, he laughed before adding: “Sorry, I didn’t know that.”
You can check out Tomiyasu’s brilliant reaction to Thiago’s absence below.
Video: Takehiro Tomiyasu just could believe that Thiago Alcantara hadn’t made the Spanish World Cup squad
Takehiro Tomiyasu names his favourite Spain national team player: “Thiago.”
Journalist: “Thiago Alcantara? He’s not coming [to the World Cup].”
Tomiyasu: “He’s not coming?! Sorry, I didn’t know that!”
Luis Enrique’s decision to leave Thiago at home means that Tomiyasu won’t be coming up against him when Japan meet Spain in their third and final Group E match on December 1.
It’s a fairly long wait until Arsenal and Liverpool clash in the Premier League, too, with the Gunners set to visit Anfield on April 8 next year.
Thiago, though, was far from the only big name snubbed by the Spain boss. Manchester United’s David de Gea and Sergio Ramos of Paris Saint-Germain were among those who missed out on selection.
MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 04: Thiago Alcantara of Spain looks on during the international friendly match between Spain and Portugal at Wanda Metropolitano stadium on June 04, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Explaining his decision to leave out some of the country’s most established stars, Enrique admitted after his squad announcement that fitness concerns during a mid-season World Cup had played a part.
“I know it’s a disappointment. They deserved to be here, but only 26 can be in the squad.
“If it were a normal World Cup, we would integrate the physical needs into the training, but halfway through the season we are not going to work on the physical level of a player.
“I’m not going to go into the players that aren’t on the list. I thank eve…