At the FIFA World Cup 2022, Spain will face Japan in their final group match on Thursday. In his pre-game press conference, manager Luis Enrique updated the media on the condition of Barcelona striker Ansu Fati on the day before the game.
The 20-year-inclusion old’s in the World Cup team was questioned by Enrique due to the fact that he had not been a regular club player this season.
When Ansu began and scored for Spain in the pre-World Cup friendly against Jordan, Enrique’s choice appeared to have been vindicated.
The Barcelona player hasn’t played a single minute since the tournament’s start in Qatar, though. In fact, only Fati and Eric Garcia have yet to play a single minute of football at the World Cup out of the eight Barça players in the Spain squad.
In his press conference, Enrique explained why the young forward had not been used, saying (h/t GOAL):
“The last player to make the list was Ansu Fati. I sent eight forwards in. Naturally, that was possibly the position I had the most reservations about, but I have to admit that I’m thrilled with what I’m seeing. Nevertheless, we have eight strikers who are excelling.
Enrique insisted that players like Fati, who have not yet been deployed in the competition, be prepared for usage at all times, saying:
“The eight eliminated players…
They have to do what they do, which is unfortunate. The decision will be made once the coach arrives, so be prepared.
Enrique also gave an update on the health of Gavi, who missed the last several days of training after suffering a slight injury against Germany in their previous match.
“Today we are going to train; Rodri and Gavi wanted to train yesterday, but we prevented them. They don’t need to push themselves to do anything. We’ll check on their training today. Perfect if they are available,” the La Roja leader stated.
Spain is presently in first place in Group E and only needs a draw to advance to the next round. According to rumors, Enrique may rest his starting lineup against Japan, including captain Sergio Busquets, who has a yellow card.
The team’s top priority, according to Enrique, was to win the game, not discuss any potential rotations.
“I still need to attend a training session to pick the starting lineup, but we won’t engage in any player speculation, that much is certain. Even though we have a slight lead, we want to win our game to finish first because we are in a group where anyone can advance.