Upon the release of the finalized list of the 26 Spanish players being called upon by Luis Enrique to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup 2022, it was revealed that as many as seven Barcelona players had been included.
In terms of obvious picks, it was certain that Sergio Busquets, alongside midfield companions Gavi and Pedri, would indefinitely have made the team based upon both their significance to the team as well as their seasonal performances thus far. Regarding Busquets, Enrique showered particular praise calling him the “Best pivot in the world for his system” as well as admitting he’d like the Spaniard to participate in another World Cup following this one as well.
Other picks included defenders Eric Garcia and Jordi Alba. Both players were more than likely to be called upon given their recent inclusions in most Spanish National Team outings. Both players are also befitting of the system and style of play that Luis Enrique likes to deploy with La Roja.
A shout for Alejandro Balde to make the final cut was also present amongst both fans and reports alike, however it didn’t amount to much. In actuality, Enrique opted for the much more experienced and proven Jose Gaya as the second choice at Left Back.
Ferran Torres also makes the final 26, being a player that Lucho himself seems to hold in high regard, as well as the fact that he’s had a revitalized latter half of the season at Barcelona as well in terms of his recent performances.
However, the big mystery finally met its conclusion. Ansu Fati makes the final list of 26 headed to the World Cup in Qatar. There was massive speculation and doubt regarding his inclusion, given the warnings Enrique had given earlier this year regarding Fati needing to show more at Barcelona to prove he was ready. But it seems the manager will end up counting on the youngster at some point during the World Cup.
Placed in Group E, they are accompanied by Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan. Tipped to get past this group stage and possibly try to top it as well, Spain has expectations on their shoulders that they will aim to achieve during this tournament, and the inclusion of this young Catalan cavalry may just help the team in achieving that.