Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui gave an interview to Spanish radio programme Partidazo de la COPE yesterday where he discussed, among other things, Andrés Iniesta’s current form and Álvaro Morata’s options to make it into the World Cup squad.
Spain has a tough international break, facing both Germany and Argentina. Lopetegui insists that since these are their last games before the tournament kicks off in June they prefer having tough rivals, “so we could properly assess our chances in the World Cup”.
“We wanted these last two games to be demanding, because it’s our last window to prepare before the tournament starts, and what better way than to play against the champions and runners-up of the last World Cup”.
When asked about Iniesta, Lopetegui admitted that the Barcelona midfielder is playing better this year. “Last year because of various injuries he didn’t have the continuity he has been enjoying this year”.The former Porto manager also made a special mention about Iniesta’s performance against Chelsea in the Champions League.
Lopetegui has left out Morata, who ended his 2018 goal drought last weekend against Leicester in the FA Cup. However, he said the Spanish striker shouldn’t take this to heart as no final decision has been made as of yet, and he still has every chance of making it into the final squad.
On the other hand, his Chelsea teammate Marcos Alonso finally got a call-up. When asked why it had taken [Alonso] so long to break into the team, Lopetegui said it was just down to the characteristics they look for in someone in his position.
“This will be a good chance to see how he mixes into the team, and hopefully he can show if he’s ready for the World Cup”.