Luis Enrique: I would love Guardiola to coach Spain

Luis Enrique: I would love Guardiola to coach Spain

Spain head coach Luis Enrique has spoken about his first national team squad since Euro 2020 and also mentioned that he'd love to see his former colleague Pep Guardiola in charge of La Roja one day.

Asked what he thought about the idea of Guardiola, who has spoken previously about his international ambitions, sitting in his place in the future, Luis Enrique replied in typically modest fashion, stating that the Manchester City boss would be the ideal coach for Spain.

"I'd love that, I wish [Guardiola] was the Spain coach. I'd love it, it would be perfect," said Luis Enrique in his press conference.

"What's more, I'd love to see our national team with his stamp on them.

"I don't think Spain could have a better coach."

Luis Enrique also explained some of his decisions behind his 24-man squad for the games against Sweden, Georgia and Kosovo in September.

Never afraid to shake things up, shuffle his pack and try new things, Luis Enrique has made seven changes from his Euro 2020 squad in the summer:

Out: Pau Torres, Diego Llorente, Fabian Ruiz, Thiago Alcantara, Pedri, Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal.

In: Inigo Martinez, Raul Albiol, Carlos Soler, Mikel Merino, Pablo Fornals, Brais Mendez and Abel Ruiz.

The main reason for this is to rest the players who played at both Euro 2020 and the Olympics (Pedri, Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal), while also freshening things up and giving a chance to players who have earned it. Of those who played at both summer tournaments, only Unai Simon and Eric Garcia have been included in this squad.

"[The rest given to players] is necessary, even the coach gets tired. We've evaluated every case individually," said Luis Enrique.

"There are two [of the players who competed at both Euro 2020 and the Olympics] who are in the squad because they are playing again or are about to be.

"For the others, we decided it was best for them to rest... but all six wanted to come."

Of those to come in, perhaps the most surprising was Braga forward Abel Ruiz. The former Barcelona youth player, who scored 11 goals in 39 games in Portugal last season, has represented Spain at various youth levels and made his debut for the senior squad in June this year, when the under-21 squad had to step in and play Lithuania.

"We consider [Abel Ruiz] to be very important due to the record he has, with the youth teams and his club," said Luis Enrique.

Others among the seven who have come in since the last squad are more familiar faces, such as veteran Raul Albiol and Athletic Club's Inigo Martinez. The latter declared himself unavailable for Euro 2020 due to an injury, but Luis Enrique had no doubts about bringing him back into the fold at the first opportunity.

"We haven't spoken, there was no need," said Luis Enrique.

"He was brave to say he wasn't ready [to play at Euro 2020].

"I hope he doesn't call now to say he's not ready, but I'm sure he won't."

While Albiol, 35, and Martinez, 30, have made the squad, another veteran defender who misses out again is Sergio Ramos. The explanation there is simple, but questions were inevitably asked, just like the coach also had to avoid the topic of having picked no Real Madrid players again.

"Unfortunately, [Ramos'] situation is the same. He's not played a single game since [Euro 2020]," said Luis Enrique.

"My actions speak louder than words [with regards to Real Madrid players].

"I could only dig myself a hole with an explanation."
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