Barça’s Balde in last minute Spain call-up to replace injured Gayá

Doha, Nov 18 (EFE).- Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde has been called up to the Spanish national team in a last-minute change of plans to replace Valencia player José Luis Gayá, who will miss the 2022 World Cup in Qatar through injury.

Head coach Luis Enrique made the call after Gayá sprained his ankle during the warm up before Spain’s pre-World Cup friendly against Jordan on Thursday.

Balde, 19, had been with the Spanish U21 team who were due to play against Japan Friday.

The Barça defender is the only player in Luis Enrique’s 26-man squad who has never played for the senior team.

Spain’s Qatar squad balances experience with veterans such as Sergio Busquets, winner of the 2010 World Cup, and rising stars in the form of Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati.

The team’s campaign kicks off on November 23 with a Group E match against Costa Rica.

Drawn into a tough group, the Spaniards will also have to battle it out with Japan and Germany to make the knock-out stages. EFE


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