Pau Cubarsí, the last of De la Fuente’s kids | Soccer | Sports

In the month of March, when the calendar most suffocates the big European clubs, historical suppliers of La Roja, with the Champions League knockout phase and in the final stretch of the domestic leagues, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) He organized two high-voltage friendly matches for the coach of the senior team: Colombia in London (Olympic Stadium) and Brazil in Madrid (Santiago Bernabéu). In June, in the last two previous duels before the opening shot of the Euro Cup, the federation agreed with Andorra and Northern Ireland. “We have established this type of rivals because we wanted to gauge a high moment of form for our players. What cannot be done is analyze whether the selection of friendlies was correct after a result. We wanted to measure our strength against this type of rivals,” revealed Luis de La Fuente. While waiting for the duel against Canarinha next Tuesday, the first test went smoothly (0-1).

A result, in any case, that did not cloud Luis de la Fuente’s objective. “We wanted to do different tests,” he said. He tried a system (4-2-3-1), also with Pedro Porro and Grimaldo on the sides, two players who, precisely, do not dazzle the coaching staff. He insisted with Joselu in the attack and once again gave minutes to Gerard Moreno (he had not played with La Roja since September 2021 in a duel against Sweden to qualify for the World Cup) and Pablo Sarabia (he had not taken the field wearing the Spain shirt since Qatar, in December 2022). He even gave the opportunity to two goalkeepers, one for time: David Raya and Remiro. “It’s already a reward to be here,” celebrated the Real Sociedad goalkeeper, who made his senior debut against Colombia in London. It was not the only one, Vivian (24 years old) also premiered, much less the most striking.

All eyes in London were pointing to Pau Cubarsí. The young Barcelona center back is the sensation in Sant Joan Despí, also in Las Rozas. “When you see him on the field he looks much older. It seems as if he has been with us for several years now,” they explain from the Spain locker room. “How can you play with that calmness at 17 years old?” How is it possible?”, they asked the team’s sports management team. “Because of the head he has and because of his technical and tactical conditions, a bright future awaits him,” they conclude. It happened, however, that approximately a month ago, the same sources did not even dare to contemplate the possibility of Cubarsí for the absolute team. “The idea, depending on how much he plays between now and the end of the season, is that he can be included in the squad for the Olympic Games,” they stressed. But the Barça centre-back burns stages as he silences forwards, starting the Champions League tie against Naples, ahead of the experienced Iñigo Martínez, present, precisely, in Luis de la Fuente’s last call-up last November.

“I’m a little freaked out, very happy with the opportunities they are giving me. It’s like a dream. But I try to stay calm, family and friends help me a lot. “I try not to change anything,” explained Cubarsí, when he had not yet tried on the senior jersey. It is no surprise that he has accumulated 1,839 minutes in the season, only 1,010 (13 games) with Xavi Hernández’s first team. His godfather heading to Las Rozas was another of De la Fuente’s kids, Lamine Yamal. “I have him as a housemate, we live together in La Masia. A nice, humble kid, very good, very good people,” said the winger, the youngest player to debut for Spain (16 years and 57 days). The second was precisely Cubarsí (17 and 60), who after playing seven minutes against Colombia, took the symbolic prize of becoming the youngest defender to take the field with La Roja.

In Las Rozas, he had even speculated about putting him on the field from the start, along with Le Normand. But everything remained a test for De la Fuente. Cubarsí didn’t care. “I am very proud of my debut, it was a dream I had since I was little. It’s hard to lose and I’m hurt by the defeat, but I’m grateful for the coach’s trust. I want to make the most of it by giving my best. I always try to be myself and play calmly and calmly,” Cubarsí stressed, after the defeat in London. The Barcelona centre-back became the 16th player that De la Fuente has made his debut. In addition to Vivián and Remiro, the coach already had the opportunity for Grimaldo, Riquelme, Aleix García, Le Normand, David García, Sancet, Zubimendi, Fran García, Joselu, Baena, Lamine, Zaragoza and Pedraza.

“It has to do with something cultural. I was educated in the development of the quarry. I come from a club, Athletic, where the growth of the youngest players is very possible,” explains the coach. And he elaborates: “Experience has shown me that prepared and talented people, if you give them options and opportunities to show themselves, never fail. And, since I am a good connoisseur of Spanish grassroots football. I am certain that more footballers will appear. And, before long, another generation will appear. It’s about giving them opportunities and, above all, betting on them without a doubt. And without posturing, with determination. I try to do that, to give those opportunities. But it’s not difficult, they are so good that they demand the opportunity as soon as you see them appear on the field.” Between the defeat against Colombia and the duel against Brazil, Cubarsí appears. Another kid from De la Fuente. Nothing new in the De la Fuente era.

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