“The Gaia affair was a fifteen-day trauma”

Doha (EFE) – Luis Enrique Martínez, the Spanish coach, explained the reason he decided to do without Jose Luis Gaia, with whom he said he needed to focus more on the head than the heart to make a decision, he assured . that his sprained ankle “was an injury of fifteen days” and that he could not risk Jordi Alba having trouble appearing in the first two games without a left back.

“The Gaia case is in line with what is happening in all countries, I have to make decisions, and in my heart I would choose to have him there, but in my head, both doctors and outside people that I consulted, they told me that this fifteen – the day of the injury and I could not play two games out of three for one hundred percent, and I was not going to be at the maximum in any way, ”he defended himself.

“I have to make a decision with the team in mind. If I do what Gaia deserves and what the Valencians want, I will keep him in the squad, but if Jordi Alba gets hit and I go two games without a left back, what will they say about the manager?

For this reason, Luis Enrique assured that when it came to making the most difficult decision, he thought first of all of “the best for the team” and thus have “two left-backs in the best conditions” from the start of the season. world championship. .

Luis Enrique: "The Gaia affair was a fifteen day trauma"Luis Enrique: "The Gaia affair was a fifteen day trauma"
Luis Enrique, today at a press conference. EFE/EPA/Abir Sultan

The Asturian acknowledged that the misfortune befell Gaia because of the territory he occupies, and explained that the decision would have been different if he had played in a different position, as he demonstrated in the last Eurocup when he reconciled with Sergio Busquets, after testing positive for coronavirus , which prevented him from playing the first two games in Seville.

“I wouldn’t do the same to anyone other than a full-back because that’s the only position where I can’t wait for anyone, because nobody can adapt to what a left-back does, who plays defense, plays a winger, depth of attack, which has a defensive and offensive profile,” he explained.

“Gaia is out of luck. If he becomes the centerpiece, he will be called here and I will wait for him until the last game. I feel it with my soul, because José is a phenomenon, I like him madly and I appreciate him very much, but I have to put what the breeder’s head thinks above my feelings. He was very unlucky just watching him get injured, spraining his ankle right after a cross. I’m sorry, but the laws of the universe rule. Now he sees everything negative, but in the future he will be able to get something positive,” he said.

Busquets: “A good start will give us peace of mind”

Spain captain Sergio Busquets, the only surviving 2010 world champion, will face the World Cup in Qatar in a different role, an experience that allows him to guarantee victory in the first game, something he has not done in his career. three previous attempts would have given them “peace of mind”.

“We know it will be difficult, but the goal is to play seven games, fight and win them,” the Spaniard said the day before his competitive debut against Costa Rica.

Busquets: "A good start will give us peace of mind"Busquets: "A good start will give us peace of mind"
Sergio Busquets at a press conference. EFE/Juan Joe Martin

Busquets, who at 34 realized he was closer to his last World Cup than his next, lost three of his World Cup debuts, 0-1 to Switzerland in 2010 and to the Netherlands in 2014. (1-5) and against Portugal (3-3) four years ago.

“Winning the first set gives you a point of peace when you start with three points, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. We started losing and won the World Cup. But it can help us deal with what comes next,” he said.

Barcelona’s top player has made no secret that the fact that he is the only Spaniard to win two World Cups is part of his thinking.

“I thought about it, but when things go uphill, there will be other more important things. It is always an illusion and a dream that this can happen,” he said.

This seniority gives him a special opportunity to show his juniors the adventure that this type of competition entails.
“I know that now I have a different role. I try to help everyone, having more experience and a different role, the role of captain. I try to help, be an example, follow everyone,” he said.

And based on his experience, Busquets allowed himself to send an optimistic message: “We are on the right track.”

Busquets: "A good start will give us peace of mind"Busquets: "A good start will give us peace of mind"
Captain of the Spanish football team Sergio Busquets. EFE/ Juan Ho Martin

Blaugrana expressed no concern about how the team is preparing for the World Cup, including the youngest ones “who play in important clubs and played in European competitions, which are similar”.

“Let them make up for the little experience of some with other things that will be good for us,” he advised.

Busquets recalled his first World Cup, which he recalls with “a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of nerves” although he has already played important games with Barça, but he admitted that “when you face it at such a young age, you get a little bored” .

“We have to be true to our style, to what we have been doing all this time with this coach. We had a good Eurocup (2021) with the same backbone of players, as well as the League of Nations,” he commented.

The Spaniard referred to some of his teammates who are also in the national team, such as striker Ansu Fati.
“He may not be getting as many minutes as he wanted or needed at the club, and the challenge from the manager gave him the momentum, the extra energy to show what he’s done before and why he’s a special player,” he said.

“I have seen him well in games and in training, and the trust of the coach is important so that if the team needs him, he is at his disposal,” he commented.

About Gavi and Pedri, he added: “They are two very young players who already have many awards, because at their age they were at a very high level. But they, like others on this team, must bring their own grain of sand with their conditions.
“It will be more team work than individual work. But having players of that quality can help you reach your goal,” he said.

Luis Enrique: "The Gaia affair was a fifteen day trauma"Luis Enrique: "The Gaia affair was a fifteen day trauma"
Training this Monday of the Spanish team. EFE/RFEF

Carvajal and Morata will be against Costa Rica; Guillamon will not force

Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata, who both suffer from colds and general malaise due to the temperature fluctuations that international players suffer from training camp to air-conditioned residence, will be able to play against Costa Rica at the Spanish Premiere in Qatar. 2022.

Spanish coach Luis Enrique Martínez, speaking to the media at the IBC in Doha, confirmed the full recovery of Carvajal, who was unable to train on Monday with the rest of the national team, but will join the last training session on Tuesday. , at an evening session at the “headquarters” of La Roja.

“I was talking to the doctors this morning and they told me they were coming to practice. Tomorrow they are all available to play, including Hugo Guillamon, whom we are treating due to a physical problem. We don’t want him to touch the ball, but he is fine and can play,” said Luis Enrique.

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at