It didn’t take long Luis Enrique in revealing that next week’s games against Greece and Sweden take away his sleep: “That’s right, this does put pressure on me. Much more than the Nations League, which was a prize. I hope not to pass it on to my players. Spain is at stake a lot, the direct presence in the World Cup without going through a terrifying play-off, and the coach admits that it will be very difficult. Two life or death matches in which you cannot fail. «Greece cost us in the first game. Now they have changed the system and are even more robust. And Sweden is a rival that has been difficult for us to defeat in recent times, although in Stockholm we did not deserve to lose. The Nordics, as if that were not enough, will have Ibrahimovic, a reinforcement that increases Luis Enrique’s level of concern: «It is a marvel, intimidating, of a great quality. It is a reinforcement for your country. I hope that collectively we can nullify its potential.
Several proper names came to the fore during the appearance of the coach in Las Rozas. The first, Ansu Fati, who returns to the national team after overcoming his injury. The coach, however, asks for caution: “We are going to be very careful with all the players who have just recovered from injuries. It is a special case, he had been away from the playing fields for many months. He has been participating for a while but we are not going to take risks. But players have to accept that injuries are part of their careers. It is normal that it is not one hundred percent.
There was also talk of another representative return, that of Carvajal: «There has not been a single call in which, if it had been in conditions, it would have been. In his case he has not had much good news and I am very happy to have him back on his level.
Luis Enrique says that he does not like to talk about the players who are not on the list. He trumpets it over and over again, but this time he didn’t mind spending a lot of time explaining the absence of Marcos Alonso, starter in the final phase of the Nations League, and surpassed in the race this time by the returns of Jordi Alba and José Luis Gayà: «The left back is the position that has cost me the most. Marcos Alonso could have come and start in both games. That invites those who come to know that they cannot sleep. I like that feeling of competition. I have to admit that this is the most unfair time I have been with a player ».
The analysis of Alonso’s situation led the Asturian to also speak of other absences, such as those of Raúl de Tomás, Rafa Mir or Fabián, who leads the baton of a leading Naples in Italy: «They are players who are in the preliminary list , which means that they have options to be. But only 25 come … ».
The double reality of Barça
Luis Enrique ended by wishing Xavi luck in his new adventure as Barcelona coach, although he did not dare to give him any advice: «I have been in the changing rooms of Barcelona, Sporting, Real Madrid … As a coach I have also been in many changing rooms. But in that, specifically, Xavi has been much longer than me. I think he is almost going to give me advice.
And he analyzed the double reality of Barça, constantly questioning the quality of his squad while he incorporates up to five Barça players on his list (Eric García, Jordi Alba, Gavi, Busquets and Ansu Fati): «I can analyze what happens here and not what happens in clubs. Neither Barça nor in the rest of the clubs. Here we have the clear idea that this is a team that represents a country and they come to be part of a team. On and off the pitch ”.