De la Fuente, a coherent revolution | Sports

The opening of the De la Fuente era could not have been more in keeping with De la Fuente, a coach who does not like extravagances and is very devoted to his team, the footballers he cradled in the lower categories. From his last great challenge, the Tokyo Games in which Spain won silver, he has retained seven players for his first absolute list: Zubimendi, Ceballos, Merino, Pedri, Bryan Gil, Dani Olmo and Oyarzabal.

Regarding Qatar, De la Fuente has been conditioned by the withdrawal of Busquets and the injury of Unai Simón. In the first case, he has opted for Zubimendi as a replacement for the former captain. Just the footballer highlighted by Xavi as a possible replacement for Busi. Unai is replaced by his predecessor in the Athletic goal, Kepa, rehabilitated at Chelsea since the arrival of Graham Potter. Rather than setting up a competition with De Gea, the coach has favored the two disciplined and accustomed substitutes for Luis Enrique: Robert and Raya.

With Haaland in sight (Spain-Norway, on Saturday the 25th in Malaga), the coach from La Rioja has opted for three great headers (David García, Laporte and Iñigo Martínez), seconded by Nacho, meritorious like few others at Real. Two right-handed full-backs (Carvajal and Porro) and two left-handed ones (Balde, who has parked Alba, and Gayà, troubled by his injury in the previous Qatar match and whom De la Fuente already cited in 2013). Outside are Pau, Eric, Guillamón, Azpilicueta and Alba. None is up today.

Zubimendi will give an alternative to Rodri, the fetén midfielder without Busquets, no matter how much Luis Enrique fitted him as an orthopedic central defender. At his sides, Pedri dismissed due to injury, the powder player Gavi, two players with physique, tact and experience like Fabián and Merino, and Ceballos. Like Nacho, another with new airs in Madrid. Koke, Llorente and Soler have lost thread.

The forward is perfectly logical, with the most optimistic recruits with the goal. Luis Enrique went to Qatar with only one pure striker (Morata). De la Fuente opted for loading the area with Atlético’s nine —the one with the most caps on the list (61)—, Aspas, Gerard and Joselu (the other rookie along with David García). There are no dynamiters with better records, no matter how much they are all thirty-somethings: Morata (30), Gerard (30), Joselu (33 on the 27th) and Aspas (35). Olmo, Nico and Bryan will have the bands. Oyarzabal has any option at the forefront.

The attacking discards compared to the last World Cup: Ferran and Ansu, who have caught the flu at Barça, Pino, who has not just taken off at Villarreal, Asensio, increasingly parked at Real, and Sarabia, an adventurer at Lopetegui’s Wolves .

A call as debatable as any among 40 million Spaniards. Even that of Luis Enrique had grounds, in this Spain with some notables and no outstanding. But a list very typical of De la Fuente, with no one —of those who are and those who are not— who squeaks. Not even Sergio Ramos when the key word today is “to team up”. Waiting for the results, in principle, a less rhetorical Spain, with more physique and better armor in the areas. Another Spain. Nor did Qatar’s look bad. But there are more selectors, real and imaginary, than baskets.You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

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