With many new players set to debut for the Spanish national football team, Spain and Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba warned that Norway will likely give the La Roja a hard time when the teams square off in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Spain will host Norway at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium and then play Malta on the road on the first two match days of the Euro 2020 qualifiers scheduled for March 23 and 26, respectively, Efe news reported.
“Norway can complicate our lives but with the quality and the drive we have, hopefully everything will go well,” Alba said at a press conference at the Spanish football federation’s facilities here on Wednesday.
“We will focus on a difficult rival like Norway,” he added. “Every opponent can cause you troubles, this is the reality nowadays.”
For these two matches, Spain coach and former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has decided to introduce many changes to his roster by excluding some big names such as Real Madrid’s Isco, Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and Koke.
“There are a lot of (players) coming (to the Spanish team) for the first time, and they have to understand the coach’s ideas,” Alba stated.
Alba said that many young players have joined the national team since the beginning of Enrique’s tenure, and that he has underscored that the younger players needed to listen to their veteran and experienced teammates.
Alba also discussed the decision of his Barcelona teammate, defender Gerard Pique, to join the Catalonia national team, months after Pique retired from international duty with Spain.
“I have not talked to him (Pique) about this, but he would have his reasons,” Alba said.