Barcelona’s 19-year-old Alejandro Balde gets a call-up from Spain to fill up the 26-man squad after Jose Gaya was ruled out due to injury. The left-back has had an ankle sprain that ensured his staying off-field for 10 days.
Alejandro Balde gets a call-up from Spain
Alejandro Balde, who has been impressive with Barcelona this season, was with Spain’s under-21 group in Seville. He was preparing for a match to face Japan when Luis Enrique turned to him due to Gayá’s injury. It opens the door to his first big tournament.
This addition to the Qatar squad takes the number of Under 21s from Barcelona to four. There are 17 players at the World Cup from Barcelona and the young ones in Spain have major attention.
It’s a bunch of teenagers: midfielders Gavi and Pedri are 18 and 19 years old respectively, and striker Ansu Fati stepped into 20 just a few weeks ago. In the beginning, Luis Enrique was positive about Gayá’s chances to be in the tournament, but the prospect of being detached for 10 days dropped the warning bells.
Grear display for Barcelona
Alejandro Balde will join Jordi Alba as Spain’s prominent left-back option. The youngster has been awesome with Barcelona this year, filling in at both lefts and right back in 13 starts. The competition for left back is tough but he had crossed both Marcos Alonso and Jordi Alba in the order before a problem at the right back promoted Xavi to shift him to the other flank.
Spain could have waited another 24 hours to come to an ultimate decision but they had the tough call of sending Gayá home and electing Balde.
In the 26-man squad, Balde’s inclusion is exciting and fans will be looking forward to the World Cup days with eager eyes.