Alejandro Balde replaced 19-year-old FC Barcelona left-back José Luis Gaia in the Spain squad. Globalism Cup, the Spanish Football Federation confirmed.
Gaia missed the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury. Balde stepped out of the under-21 side after a stellar start to the season, which saw him play right and left-back for Barcelona – despite having only 23 first-team appearances in his career and making appearances. For the first time under the age of 21 only in September, according to Xinhua.
Spain coach Luis Enrique admitted that it was “the worst day he had to tell Gaia he had to leave the team, due to an injury not that serious, but with the games approaching it would have been a risk (keep him).”
Simeone, Pereira put Argentina in preparation for the World Cup
The Argentine Football Association announced, on Friday, that Napoli striker Gio Simeone and Udinese attacking midfielder Roberto Pereira have been added to Argentina’s reserve list for the FIFA World Cup.
The announcement came a day after Valencia midfielder Nico Gonzalez and Inter Milan striker Joaquin Correa were excluded from Albiceleste’s 26-man squad due to muscle injuries. Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid and Thiago Almada of Atlanta United were named as direct replacements for the injured pair and joined the Argentina squad on Friday.
The news that Pereyra and Simeone are on standby is in line with coach Lionel Scaloni’s goal of having at least one reserve player in every position at his disposal. Argentina, two-time world champions, will start their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22 before facing Mexico and Poland in Group C.
Marquinhos eases World Cup injury concerns
Brazilian defender Marquinhos is preparing to be fully fit for his team’s opening World Cup match against Serbia after overcoming a calf muscle injury.
The 28-year-old was forced out of training earlier in the week but appeared unfazed when he joined his teammates for a full training session at Brazil’s headquarters ahead of the World Cup in Turin on Friday.
The Paris Saint-Germain player had described the injury as an “inconvenience,” stressing that he had gradually returned to his physical peak after a week of rest.
Brazil will start the tournament in Qatar against Serbia on November 24 before also facing Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G. The South American team aims to win the FIFA World Cup for the sixth time.
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