Luis Enrique made his debut as Spanish national coach this week with two tough games against England and Croatia in the new UEFA Nations League. Spain won both games, beating (1-2) England at Wembley and thrashing Croatia (6-0) thanks to the brace scored by Marco Asensio and the goals of Sergio Ramos and Isco. It was not a coincidence that these Real Madrid players score as Los Blancos are in charge of the Spanish national team.
Only some years ago, the Spanish national team able to win two consecutive Euro and the World Cup 2010 in South Africa was lead by FC Barcelona players like Xavi, Iniesta or Puyol. This tendency has changed and, against Croatia, only Sergio Busquets started the game. Meanwhile, six Real Madrid footballers were in the line up -Nacho Fernández, Sergio Ramos, Daniel Carvajal, Dani Ceballos, Isco and Marco Asensio-. When Busquets was replaced by Rodri, Barça had no players in the field represented in the Spanish national team.
This is not an anecdote. Florentino Pérez has changed the transfer policy at Real Madrid and this is noted in the national team. Now Los Blancos have prioritized the signing of young Spanish players and the consequence is having Isco, Asensio or Dani Ceballos in the national team. Besides, we don’t have to forget Lucas Vázquez, who was in the World Cup, or Mariano Díaz, waiting for Luis Enrique’s call.
Florentino Pérez was able to tie Isco, Asensio or Ceballos when they had the chance to join FC Barcelona. However, Los Blancos project was more appealing and there are many other names who have joined Real Madrid and Castilla to continue building this interesting project.
“The basis is Real Madrid and I’m happy with it”, Luis Enrique said after the game. The coach admitted that he doesn’t look the club but only the quality of the players. Many Real Madrid supporters -and even players- were concerned when the former Barcelona coach was appointed Spanish national coach because of his past. However, Luis Enrique has only continued with the tendency of the last years, calling many Real Madrid players to the national team, as happened when Lopetegui was in charge. This will only grow because Lopetegui is determined to give importance to the Spaniards and the youngsters in the team.