Four years after retirement
At FC Barcelona recently only a supplementary player, in the Spanish national team possibly a candidate for the World Cup squad: The 35-year-old central defender Gerard Piqué is a report of the “mark‘ according to Luis Enrique’s preliminary list. The veteran had announced his resignation in 2018 after 102 international matches in the service of “Furia Roja”, but at the beginning of the year the coach left the door wide open with a view to the World Cup.
“He’s a Spanish player and he ticks all the boxes. If he wants and I want, it could be,” said Enrique in an interview with the paper at the time, when asked about the 2010 world champion. While the Catalans are reportedly only the fifth choice in the defensive center and his recent appearances are primarily the injuries to new signing Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araújo, his experience could speak for him in view of the comparatively young Spanish team. Piqué has played the full distance in 12 games in three World Cups – always alongside Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Ramos, who is also included in Enrique’s 55 list, according to the newspaper.
The 36-year-old ex-Madrilenian had played his last of 180 international matches in March 2021 against Kosovo, but is one of the regular staff at club level – unlike Piqué – in Paris. Nevertheless, both old stars should only have a serious chance of being on the Spain squad list, which was finally presented on November 10th, in an emergency.
In the center of defence, Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, Bilbao’s Iñigo Martínez, Barcelona’s Eric García, who recently had to be substituted against Valencia with an “overload in the left hip muscle”, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Diego Llorente from Leeds United have the edge on the veterans.
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Reports: De Gea not on Enrique’s list – 5 goalkeepers in the draw
Like the newspaperAS‘ reported Enrique’s 55-man list, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is not on it. Instead of the 45-time national keeper, who last stood between the posts for Spain in the Nations League in 2020, Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sánchez (Brighton & Hove Albion) and David Raya (FC Brentford) are the hottest goalkeepers World Cup Candidates. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) and David Soria (Getafe) are also in the draw.
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