Spain coach Luis Enrique said his team, which mixes youth and experience, will compete for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Enrique added at a press conference on Friday, before a friendly match against Albania in Barcelona: “After a period of doubts, we now have a group of young players and some veterans who can face any rival, I hope my team reaches the final stages of the World Cup. We are a fierce opponent.”
Spain will play Barcelona for the first time in 18 years, a city where Enrique found success as a player and then as a manager, winning the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble with Barcelona in 2015.
The coach said before Saturday’s game: “I hope it will be a great game and that the fans will enjoy it. I consider myself at home in Barcelona. We haven’t played there in many years. We will play the game with great enthusiasm.” I know that people will attend a lot and the tickets will be completely sold out.”
Enrique also commented on Italy’s surprise 1-0 loss at home to North Macedonia on Thursday, which prevented the four-time world champions from qualifying for the World Cup finals for the second successive edition.
Spain qualified for the Qatar tournament by beating Sweden 1-0 in a thrilling clash in November to avoid the play-offs.
Enrique also explained why he is not renewing his contract with Spain, which expires at the end of the World Cup in December.
“What will happen if I renew and go to the World Cup and screw it up? If something goes wrong, I go on my own. My future does not interest anyone, I live in the present,” he said.