Nations League: La Roja, four demanding games with the deposit in the reserve | Sports | The USA Print


The sleeves of the training shirts gathered above the shoulders and the bottles of water scattered on the grass after gushing their heads betray the intense training under a scorching sun to which the internationals have been subjected. At the end of the preparatory session, Luis Enrique walks barefoot on the grass, freed from the pressure of his boots and looking for the coolness of the soles of his feet.

The Spanish coach is thoroughly preparing for the four-game round of the third edition of the League of Nations that will begin this Thursday, against Portugal, in Seville. The Czech Republic, in Prague and Malaga, and Switzerland, in Geneva, are the other two rivals that complete this demanding dating route that will lower the curtain on the national team’s season. The adjustments to the calendar that are still dragging the consequences of the pandemic plus the celebration of the World Cup in Qatar in November and December have brought about this binge of matches that will demand a great physical display due to the Red’s own style and due to the profile of the three rivals .

Portugal, a priori, is the rival that will fight with Spain for the first place that gives access to the final phase of the competition, but Switzerland already gave problems in the previous edition of the League of Nations and also in the European Championship. The tougher Czechs will try to assert their physical strength. It will be two weeks of coexistence in which the Spanish coach once again insists on the excellence necessary to compete for the World Cup with guarantees with the condition that the deposit of the vast majority of his soccer players is already in the reserve.

“It is true that this competition comes in the middle of summer and that we just stopped two weeks ago, but we have continued training and we have not disconnected because the icing on the season is coming with these four games”, reflects Pablo Sarabia. The winger is one of the great examples of how to gain a foothold in the rosters and lineups from work in training and the minutes, many or few, that Luis Enrique can grant.

For this series of matches, the Asturian coach will again implement a broad rotation system based on the minutes played by each international in the final stretch of the season. The variation of the elevens in each of the matches will also serve to keep alive the flame of competition that the coach stirs with a view to the World Cup. Luis Enrique defends for this that any of the footballers that he summons has a place in the eleven. The group shares and lives with that idea. And there is not an international who does not know that any slowdown in training or in a game that the coach considers unjustified can mean being excluded from the calls.

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