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Spain NT coach talks Xavi, Gavi, Balde, Pedri, Yamal: “He will return before the Euros”



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Spanish national team head coach Luis de la Fuente has mentioned that he talked to Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde, saying that the youngster will return to action before the UEFA Euro 2024.

Balde, 20, suffered a serious injury on his right hamstring during Barcelona’s 2-4 defeat against Athletic Club in their Copa del Rey clash. After a series of consultations, it was affirmed that the defender would need to undergo surgery which is likely to keep him out of action for the rest of the season.

De la Fuente, however, has mentioned that he talked to Balde and although he will be out for a long time, the 20-year-old will return before the Euros.

“I spoke to him the other day. He is strong (mentally), which is very important, but of course, he will be out for several months… He will return before the Euros soon,” the Spain manager told Radioestadio Noche.

His thoughts on Xavi, Gavi and Yamal

In an extensive interview with the aforementioned outlet, de la Fuente also shared his thoughts on Xavi, who will leave Barcelona at the end of the season. Speaking about the current Barcelona manager, he said that the relationship between the two is very good and as long as Xavi is happy, nothing matters.

“I have a very good relationship with Xavi, the important thing is that the person is happy when making decisions,” he said.

About young forward Lamine Yamal, he simply added, “Lamine is a special footballer.”

Luis de la Fuente says there is nothing bigger than playing for the national team. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Furthermore, while talking about Gavi, de la Fuente simply mentioned that players of his quality cannot be dropped from big tournaments. He added that although everyone looks after each other in the national team camp, the hunger to win is more important.

“In the national team, we always look after the health of the footballer and the interests of the clubs. But our responsibility requires us to win, we are representing a country and the best have to play.

“The worst thing I suffer from are injuries which hurts me the most more than the defeat. The matter could have changed if we had been included first in the group because Gavi would not have been injured.”

“Just like Pedri, you had to give him a dose at other times, but in a Euro Cup, playing in the Olympics, good footballers don’t have vacations”

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