The pair have been dropped from the latest national squad, for a friendly against France and a Euro 2016 qualifier against Macedonia, as manager Vicente del Bosque freshens up his ranks:
BREAKING: Juan Mata and Fernando Torres both dropped by Spain for Euro 2016 qualifiers— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 29, 2014
The news will be a painful blow for both players. However, it's hardly a surprising development when considering the disappointing recent turns both of their careers have taken.
The move came at a cost of £50 million, but Torres' form has plummeted ever since. He's now nothing more than a benchwarmer with Jose Mourinho back running things at Stamford Bridge. New Chelsea recruit Diego Costa has usurped Torres at both club and international level.
Should Torres have kept his place?
While Torres saw his on-pitch fortunes take a turn for the worse once he moved to Chelsea, Mata's career arc has dipped the other way. The ultra-talented playmaker was shipped out by Mourinho back in January, signing for Manchester United.
Like many of the United squad, Mata chaffed under the unsuccessful guidance of David Moyes. But even the arrival of celebrated Dutch strategist Louis van Gaal has done little to get Mata back to his best. Now Mata has found himself pushed aside for fellow Premier League pass masters David Silva and Santi Cazorla.
It's interesting to consider some of the players included in Del Bosque's squad, potentially those brought in at the expense of Mata and Torres:
The squad's official Twitter feed shows some intriguing selections. Chief among them is Atletico Madrid forward Raul Garcia.
An extremely versatile attacker, Garcia can play up front, on the wing or behind a striker. He offers tactical flexibility to a manager who could be keen to shake up what had become a predictable way of playing.
Another interesting selection is the inclusion of Ander Iturraspe. The Athletic Bilbao defensive midfielder is smart, resourceful and technically assured in front of a defence.
Del Bosque knows his back four needs more protection after being ripped apart by both the Netherlands and Chile at the World Cup.
Del Bosque has also included Isco, a player who was used only sparingly by Real Madrid last season. The pint-sized attacking midfielder offers creativity and a goal threat, the very things Mata will believe he brings to the side.
Will Mata get back in the national team?
It's clear Del Bosque is determined to mold a new-look national side. The time is certainly right for such a change.
It has to mean there's no room for Torres, who has certainly seen his best days at international level. However, 26-year-old Mata still has a lot to offer and must take this snub as a signal to quickly to revitalise his form.