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."

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