Julen Lopetegui was ousted two days before Spain’s World Cup opener against Portugal when it was confirmed he will take over at Real Madrid after the tournament. Fernando Hierro was named caretaker, and Spain tied Portugal in a thriller, beat Iran, and drew Morocco to reach to the last 16, where they lost on penalties to the hosts.
Luis Enrique revolutionized Spain in four years. Spain could be in the fight for the trophy, however, Enrique views Brazil and Argentina as the favorites. Young side with some experience reached UEFA Nations League final and UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals.
Spain’s camp is tranquil. La Roja has great expectations for their dynamic new breed after a good Nations League start and a generational transition. Luis Enrique’s Spain is constructed for the future but can make an impact in the present. They can go deep in Qatar 2022.
Luis Enrique chose Athletic Club’s goalkeeper over David de Gea, who replaced Iker Casillas. Simon has been a fixture of new-look Spain.
As a star of EURO 2020, he showed courage and mental fortitude despite a costly blunder against Croatia in the final 16. Unafraid to play with his feet, Simon helped the Spanish beat Switzerland in the quarterfinals, where they fell to eventual winners Italy.
Simon is currently Luis Enrique’s clear first-choice goalkeeper, ahead of De Gea and Robert Sanchez. Due to his ability to choose a pass and create the play, he has gained his team’s and supporters’ trust ahead of Qatar 2022 and has grown in confidence with each game.
Born in Agen, France, Laporte gained Spanish nationality in May 2021 and was called up by Luis Enrique to remedy La Roja’s defensive woes. Laporte started and finished all of Spain’s EURO 2020 games without Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique.
After moving to Spain at 16 and mastering his profession at Athletic Club, he joined Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in January 2018 and became a regular in the defense.
The left-footed center-back is the first choice in a rearguard where Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, and Inigo Martinez are still vying to become his regular central-defensive partner.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Llorente, Jordi Alba, Dani Carvajal, Gaya, and Marcos Alonso have all auditioned for the left-back slot without convincing Enrique.
Laporte is Spain’s next creative cog after Simon. He specializes in carrying the ball out of defense. “I enjoy being on the ball and playing,” he told El Pas.
Luis Enrique questioned after Spain’s semi-final loss to Italy last year, “Did you see Pedri’s EUROs?” “No 18-year-old has ever done it, not even Andres Iniesta. Wow! His space! Character! It’s unique. It’s incredible.”
These words sum up the young Barcelona star’s value to Spain. Pedri is No. 10 for his nation and No. 8 for his club. He’s already creating enthusiasm. He blends superb skill with the intellect to sniff out, occupy, and exploit any area.
With attitude, impudence, and swagger, he’s filled two of the game’s most demanding jerseys. Versatile, he can play wide midfield, in the hole, or on the flank.
Pedri is the spearhead of a new generation that also includes Gavi, another 18-year-old La Masia product Luis Enrique trusted enough to call up and start. Gavi is Xavi’s Camp Nou favorite.
And a naturally good player who isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and pursue the ball. “He’s a volcano.” The Spain coach stated it’s impossible to dislike Gavi.
Busquets will be the only South Africa 2010 champion in Qatar 2022. In a new-look side, he brings experience and is as important to Luis Enrique’s system as Xavi is at Barcelona.
Busquets keeps things simple in midfield, completing his conductor’s position to perfection despite his apparent lack of physical presence. One of La Roja’s modern greats, he’ll be key in Qatar.
Torres missed the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden in November due to a Nations League injury. Torres is Spain’s highest scorer under Luis Enrique and has scored four goals in Qatar 2022 qualification.
Torres can alter roles throughout a game since he’s adaptable. Though he hasn’t achieved his greatest form for Barcelona since moving from Manchester City.
His ability to create space and score is vital for a Spain team still deciding on their No. 9 for Qatar 2022. Torres is best on the right because of his ability to slide past opponents and get to the byline.
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