News Matches
World Cup

Barcelona youngster Balde called up to replace injured Gaya in Spain World Cup squad

7:58 PM IST 18/11/22
Alejandro Balde Barcelona
Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde has been called up by Luis Enrique to replace the injured Jose Gaya in the Spain squad for the World Cup.
  • Gaya injured in training
  • Will return home from Qatar
  • Balde will fly in as a replacement

WHAT HAPPENED? The Valencia defender suffered an ankle sprain on Wednesday evening while training in Amman, Jordan. The initial reports showed that it was not a major injury. However, the worst case scenario came true for the Valencia skipper and he has now been ruled out of the entire World Cup. He will be replaced by Balde of Barcelona.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 19-year-old left-back was training under the guidance of Luis de la Fuenta, in the Under-21 team and is in good shape. His impressive performances for the Catalan club have forced Xavi Hernandez to relegate veteran defender Jordi Alba to the bench and include him in the starting XI. He has already racked up more than 1,100 minutes this season in 16 appearances across all competitions and also boasts three assists in La Liga.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? Luis Enrique's troops will begin their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica on Wednesday.