Spain's Real Madrid core of no concern to Valverde

By Sports Desk September 14, 2018

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde thinks suggestions of a Real Madrid dominance of the Spain squad are inaccurate. 

Madrid stars Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Ceballos, Isco and Marco Asensio all started Tuesday's 6-0 Nations League thrashing of Croatia in Elche, while only Sergio Busquets was involved from a Barca perspective.

With Sergi Roberto the only other Barca player in the 23-man squad, there have been suggestions Madrid are becoming the dominant force within the national team, despite the presence of ex-Blaugrana head coach Luis Enrique.

However, Valverde highlighted that of those six Madrid players, only Nacho and Carvajal came through the youth system.

He also pointed to the absence of three Spain regulars over recent years from Barca who were not involved this time: Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique, who have retired from international football, and the overlooked Jordi Alba.

"I think you need to read things properly," he told a news conference. "It was said before how there were more Barca than Madrid players; now, there are more Madrid than Barca players.

"There are players who weren't there, like Andres, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba. In recent years, Madrid have signed players who can be called up, like Asensio, Isco, Dani Ceballos.

"If you look at the players from the Madrid and Barca youth teams, they are similar. I have the impression they're similar. 

"In any case, we'll fight to change that and to have more of our players called up."

Related items

  • Lewandowski back in Bayern training as Davies joins new team-mates Lewandowski back in Bayern training as Davies joins new team-mates

    Robert Lewandowski has returned to full training with Bayern Munich following a knee injury, with Alphonso Davies joining his team-mates for the first time.

    Poland striker Lewandowski sat out Tuesday's session with a knee injury but joined his colleagues ahead of Bayern's home game against Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

    Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben also joined in training as they recover from ankle and knee injuries respectively, with Davies' arrival giving coach Niko Kovac a boost.

    The teenage winger has joined from Vancouver Whitecaps and will be available to play for Bayern after the Bundesliga's winter break.

    "My first impressions of the training ground were great," said Davies. "As a kid I dreamed of being part of such a big club.

    "Now I am and it's unbelievable. I'm very excited and looking forward to my time. I want to prove myself every day in training and work hard."

    Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic indicated Davies will be ready to make his Bayern debut in January.

    "We're excited about him," he told Bayern's website. "I'm sure he'll develop here at Bayern and help us. I wish him the best of luck and success."

    Kovac could also have Thiago Alcantara back in his squad soon as the Spain midfielder completed laps at Bayern's training ground for the first time since tearing ankle ligaments last month.

    "The first circuits around the pitch on Wednesday are a good step towards his comeback," Bayern said in a medical update on the club website.

  • Former Arsenal striker Bendtner faces 50 days in prison over taxi driver assault Former Arsenal striker Bendtner faces 50 days in prison over taxi driver assault

    Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner will serve a 50-day prison sentence for assaulting a taxi driver, the State Prosecutor of Copenhagen confirmed.

    The 30-year-old, who is now contracted to Rosenborg, was involved in an altercation in the Danish capital in September and, despite claiming he acted in self-defence, was handed a jail term.

    He was expected to appeal but the State Prosecutor of Copenhagen confirmed via social media the case has been closed and the sentence originally passed will be served.

    "The verdict is therefore final," a brief statement from the State Prosecutor said.

    Bendtner, who will also pay a 1,500 kroner (£179) fine, previously made a public apology to the club, his fans and team-mates over the incident.

    "To the club, I'm sorry with all my heart that we are standing here," he said.

    "Rosenborg has been more than a good club to me. It felt like a new home and a new family, as I needed more than ever a change of air and a new start."

    Bendtner, who has played for clubs including Juventus and Wolfsburg, joined Rosenborg from Nottingham Forest in 2017.

  • Athletic extend Muniain contract to 2024 Athletic extend Muniain contract to 2024

    Iker Muniain has signed a new contract, committing his future to Athletic Bilbao through to 2024.

    The 25-year-old missed much of last season due to injury but has featured in 11 LaLiga games this term, although Athletic are hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone.

    Muniain has shown fine form, though, contributing four goals, including finding the net in Athletic's 1-1 home draw against Real Madrid in September.

    The versatile forward, who has spent his whole career at Athletic, won his sole Spain cap in 2012.

    The club confirmed Muniain's new deal does not include any release clause.

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

There will be a new Manning Cup champion in Jamaica this year. See story here: https://t.co/qM6WbUtHhz… https://t.co/zYbM9Osoyb
Cedella Marley and Island Trinketz have partnered to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz. See story here:… https://t.co/TvzIusdHGf
#Dybala of #Juventus greets a child in a wheelchair in a heartwarming moment. #ChampionsLeague ⚽ action continues… https://t.co/CtKtgibPsE
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.