Tokyo, Jul 13 (EFE).- Andrés Iniesta believes Spain has “a magnificent squad” for the Tokyo Olympics soccer tournament and expects the team to go far in the competition.
“I hope Spain will be fighting for everything, and let’s see how far they can go,” the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday at the Spanish embassy in Japan, where he inaugurated an exhibition on manga, Spanish comic books and sport.
Iniesta, the star of the exhibition with one of the comics inspired by his life story, is confident in the Olympic team’s chances of winning gold in the under-23 football tournament because it has “players in every position who are very important for their teams”.
The midfielder, who since 2018 has plied his trade with Vissel Kobe, also believes Japan’s team will go far, since “they have a great squad” and “they have the advantage of playing at home”, despite the fact that the stadia will be empty as fans have been barred from attending any of the Olympic events due to the pandemic.
On Barcelona’s 18-year-old star Pedri, who shone for the senior team at Euro 2020 and will also travel to Tokyo, he said that “it is difficult to play at such a high level” at such a young age.
For Iniesta, “it is important that Pedri continues improving, continues growing both at his club and with the national team”, until he can become a “role model” both at Barça and for Spain.
Iniesta also avoided comparing himself to Pedri, whom he urged to “continue learning from those around him, he is in a magnificent club to do it.”
The Spanish Olympic team took off on Tuesday for Kobe, Tokyo, where they will play their only friendly match against Japan in preparation for the Games on Saturday, before the opening match of men’s soccer at the Games on July 22 against Egypt. EFE