Alonso's omission from Spain's final roster had been speculated upon, here and elsewhere, but still comes as sort of shock now that it has been made official.
By way of explanation--the AP report says only vaguely that:
"Alonso missed several games at the end of the season for Real Madrid with back problems."
SB Nation's own Zach Woosley is reporting that the problem is a groin injury.
Whether Xabi was playing down the stretch with a more substantial knock than the club let on or whether this is just a way for Del Bosque to rest the grizzled, battleworn veteran before the World Cup next summer is anybody's guess. The truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in between.
The Basque legend will turn 32 this fall and has played almost non-stop minutes for club and country since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He remains a pivotal force in a strong Spain side, but perhaps his absence this month will pay dividends next summer.
The AP also speculates that it could mean:
What do you think?