World Cup 2022: Barça defender Pique on Spain’s provisional list for the World Cup?
Four years after retirement
At FC Barcelona, only one additional player, in the Spanish national team, may be a candidate for the World Cup squad: according to a report by ‘Marca’, 35-year-old central defender Gerard Pique is on the provisional list of Luis Enrique. The veteran had announced his resignation in 2018 after 102 international matches in the service of « Furia Roja », but at the start of the year the coach left the door wide open for the World Cup.
« He’s a Spanish player and he ticks all the boxes. If he wants and I want, it could be, » Enrique said in a newspaper interview at the time when asked about the 2010 world champion. While the Catalans are said to be only the fifth choice in the defensive center and his recent appearances are mainly injuries to new signings Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araújo, his experience could speak for him given the relatively young Spanish squad. Pique has played the full distance in 12 games in three World Cups – always alongside Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Ramos, who is also on Enrique’s 55 list, according to the outlet.
The 36-year-old ex-Madridista made his last of 180 international appearances in March 2021 against Kosovo, but is part of the regular staff at club level – unlike Pique – in Paris. Nevertheless, the two former stars should have only serious chances of appearing on the list of the Spanish team, which was finally presented on November 10, in emergency.
In the center of defense are Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, Bilbao’s Iñigo Martínez, Barcelona’s Eric García, who recently had to be substituted against Valencia with an ‘excess in the left hip muscle’, Pau Torres of Villarreal and Diego Llorente of Leeds United have the advantage over the veterans.
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Reports: De Gea not on Enrique’s list – 5 goalkeepers in draw
As ‘AS’ newspaper reported regarding Enrique’s 55-man list, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is not on it. Instead of the 45-time national goalkeeper, who last stood between the Spain posts in the Nations League in 2020, Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sánchez (Brighton & Hove Albion) and David Raya (FC Brentford) are the most prominent goalkeepers. World Cup candidates. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) and David Soria (Getafe) are also in the game.
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