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Enrique fires back at criticism over Spain squad

Enrique fires back at criticism over Spain squad

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group B - Kosovo v Spain - Fadil Vokrri Stadium, Pristina, Kosovo - September 8, 2021 Spain coach Luis Enrique REUTERS/Laura Hasani

MILAN : Spain coach Luis Enrique said criticism of his squad selection for the Nations League Final Four tournament does not concern him, with the former Barcelona boss taking aim at the Spanish media for a lack of knowledge about his decisions.

"I don’t read, I don’t listen, I'm not interested in what is said about a squad selection. I selected the 23 players I see best prepared for this Final Four, whether I was right or not, we will see," he told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's semi-final against Italy at the San Siro.

"I don’t read because I think I know much more about football than you guys and I have much more information. There isn't an opinion I could read that could interest me," he added.

Injuries to strikers Alvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno have resulted in Enrique naming a squad without a recognised centre-forward after he opted against calling in Sevilla striker Rafa Mir or Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas.

But the Spain coach said he was not concerned by the lack of a conventional forward, adding that he had six or seven players who were attacking in nature.

"It is not about one player. We don’t attack with one player like we don’t defend with one," he said.

"We will adapt to a rival, try to create more chances, to keep the ball because that’s vital. For us its an exciting game with nothing to lose and a lot to win," he added.

Enrique, who has again not named a single Real Madrid player in his squad, defended his perseverance with Barcelona centre-back Eric Garcia, despite criticism of his recent form.

"I see him very well. If you haven't been criticised or vilified then you haven't played for a big club," he said.

Having lost to Italy on penalties in the semi-final of Euro 2020, Spain will be out for revenge against Roberto Mancini's side and Enrique said he expected a high quality game.

"My plan, as always, is to go for it from the beginning and to play with ambition. There are lots of players who have not been able to join us, and I'm sorry for them, but we are here with a cracking squad," he said.

"I don't like worrying about what's about to happen - we need to compete for possession with Italy and establish our way of playing. There's only one way we can win and that's to play in our style".

Thursday's semi-final sees world champions France take on Belgium in Turin.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters


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