Eric Garcia showed exactly why Manchester City wanted to keep him in the Premier League as Spain took their first steps towards the World Cup, according to Luis Enrique.

The 20-year-old defender looks certain to leave City for Barcelona at the end of the season, having turned down the chance of a new contract with the Premier League leaders.

Garcia has not started a Premier League match since October, making just two fleeting substitute appearances in the competition since then, with Pep Guardiola mainly trusting John Stones and Ruben Dias.

He played three consecutive World Cup qualifying games for Spain during the international break, however, lining up against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.

"The situation with Eric is not normal," Spain coach Luis Enrique said. "We took some risks by calling a player who has played very little this season, but we trust him so much and his level is so high that, after three months without playing, he is able to come here and play three high-level games.

"He is a very intelligent player, you would never believe how young he is given how he behaves on the pitch. He gives us a lot of confidence in defence, he is very skilled, so that is why Man City have been trying to re-sign his contract for a long while, although he made a different decision."

Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique added: "We are so happy to have a player like Eric. He leads our defence and is very communicative on the pitch and smart.

"He knows what to do every time and also is aware of the aspects he has to improve. Even though he does not play at his club, he can come here and do it well. He has just proved his [high] level the week he has been here."

Sergio Ramos addressed rumours about his Real Madrid future by promising to be "the first to say it" when a decision has been made, while insisting there is no news yet.

The Spain captain was speaking after making his 180th appearance for his country in a 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Kosovo on Wednesday, moving him within four of the all-time international caps record held by Egypt's Ahmed Hassan.

His brief cameo came four minutes from time at Estadio Olimpico de la Cartuja, but attention turned to his club career after the full-time whistle, with his Madrid contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Madrid are third in LaLiga, six points behind leaders and cross-city rivals Atletico, and face Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Amid rumours of a move to the MLS, Premier League or Ligue 1, Ramos told TVE: "With my future I was very clear, there is no news and now I have nothing to say.

"When there is news I will be the first to say it.

"We decide the season in two weeks, in LaLiga against Eibar and Barcelona, and in the Champions League against Liverpool, and hopefully we can play at a good level."

Luis Enrique defended the decision to bring Ramos on so late in the game, despite the defender having only recently recovered from an injury to his left knee that kept him sidelined for two months.

After seeing his side claim their second win in three World Cup qualifiers, courtesy of goals from Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres and Gerard Moreno, the Spain coach described Ramos' cameo as "a technical decision".

"Ramos has no further complications," Enrique told reporters.

"I decide which are the best players to start with. It is true that Ramos is fine but he has just come out of an injury from which he has recovered very quickly. That is the reality.

"Those who are in a better disposition play. Whether you like it or not, that's another question."

Asked whether the fact Ramos is closing in on Hassan's appearance record had a bearing on his decision, Enrique said: "The difficult thing about leaders is that they are leaders in any situation.

"When they are substitutes, in the stands, and from there I decide what is best for the team. I want to reward a player who for me deserves to beat all the records."

Spain went top of World Cup Qualifying Group B after goals from Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres and Gerard Moreno earned Luis Enrique's side a 3-1 win over Kosovo.

Dani Olmo, who netted a last-minute winner to spare Spain's blushes in a 2-1 victory over Georgia, opened the scoring against Kosovo with a sumptuous finish.

Ferran Torres followed up quickly with a confidently taken second, allowing Spain to breathe a sigh of relief as a campaign that got off to a stuttering start began to gather pace.

A blunder from goalkeeper Unai Simon allowed Kosovo's Besar Halimi to pull one back, but Moreno headed home to seal victory and give Spain a one-point lead over Sweden, who have a game in hand in Group B.

 

Spain coach Luis Enrique has defended his rotation policy following their slow start to 2022 World Cup qualifying.

La Roja needed a 92nd-minute Dani Olmo strike to edge Georgia 2-1 following their opening 1-1 home draw with Greece, with Luis Enrique rotating his starting XI for both matches.

The situation led to criticism of Luis Enrique, who pointed out only months ago Spain defeated Germany 6-0 in the Nations League.

Spain take on Kosovo on Wednesday and Luis Enrique insisted his approach would not change.

"Why don't we have a first-choice starting XI? Well, that's right. I have to make my decisions," Enrique said.

"What I am not going to do as the national team manager is – and if people don't agree I don't care – to make my decision according to what Pepe, Manolo or Lucas want.

"I'm a professional coach with an extensive CV that proves what I achieved as a football manager, so that is why the Spanish FA hired me.

"I won't change my way of doing things. I have a 24-player squad right now and any of them could play tomorrow, which is much better than having just 11 key players."

The former Barcelona coach added that there were benefits to giving his players more experience in the starting line-up with a view to this year's European Championship.

"In that case, if three players suddenly get injured, then I would have to use some players at the Euros who would be lacking in confidence," he said.

"I don't believe in doing that. I had a successful career, so why should I change now? I respect every opinion but I am the manager and my experience proves that.

"And in the Euros that is how I will do it, it's the same for the World Cup when my contract will expire."

The former Spain international added he respected Kosovo and their style ahead of Wednesday's game in Seville.

"I have watched them in some games where they press high up the field intensely, a daring and brave side that try to play the ball from the back," Luis Enrique said.

"I like their team, given that they take risks. They will make it hard for us in some stages of the game. They have good attacking players with a good striker and then [Valon] Berisha and some other good creative midfielders."

Luis Enrique joked he was on the verge of a heart attack after Spain required a last-gasp Dani Olmo strike to see off Georgia 2-1 in Sunday's World Cup 2022 qualifier.

Spain played out a 1-1 draw with Greece in their opening Group B fixture on Thursday and were on the verge of being held by Georgia at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena.

But substitute Olmo fired in a 25-yard winner in the 92nd minute to spare Spain's blushes after Ferran Torres had earlier cancelled out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's first-half opener.

Luis Enrique celebrated the goal wildly and admitted his side are bereft of confidence, having won just one of their last five games prior to the late victory in Tbilisi.

"I was on the verge of a heart attack," he told TVE. "We have been losing confidence and you could see that in the first half. 

"We conceded from a slight defensive error and knew it would be complicated from that point on. Our intention was to play more passes inside and create more opportunities."

Asked if Spain deserved their victory against a side ranked 83 places below them in the FIFA rankings, Luis Enrique said: "Yes. And if people think it isn't then I do not care.

"If you score in the 90-something minute it is because you have worked hard for the goal. Each win will lift our morale but we cannot afford to relax now."

Luis Enrique made seven changes from the Greece draw, including a first senior cap for Pedro Porro and a full debut for Bryan Gil.

Spain managed just two shots on target in their last match and only slightly improved in that regard against Georgia with three on-target attempts.

And with a home match against Kosovo to come on Wednesday in the last of this month's triple-header of fixtures, Luis Enrique is expecting more teams to try to frustrate his side.

"Unfortunately this is the way it is going to be against Kosovo as well," he said. "We made a lot of changes today but were very lucid. 

"There are no small rivals, especially when they all lock themselves behind the ball. If you are not on top of your game then you will suffer."

Ramos was taken off at half-time against Greece and was an unused substitute on Sunday, but Luis Enrique reiterated that his skipper is not carrying an injury.

"He is fine," the former Barcelona boss said. "I know that whatever I decide with Ramos it is going to generate controversy and debate. I am prepared for any situation."

Torres' equaliser 11 minutes into the second half was his fourth in three appearances for Spain and paved the way for half-time substitute Olmo's long-range winner.

RB Leipzig midfielder Olmo credited Georgia for pushing his side all the way and insisted getting all three points was ultimately all that mattered.

"First, I must congratulate the whole team for getting the win," he said. "We needed this victory, so I'm very happy that it ended like this.

"It is difficult to explain how I'm feeling. It's unique. It is incredible and the support of the team when scoring and the emotion has been spectacular

"You have to speak well of Georgia - they played very well. They did us some damage on the counter-attack but we knew how to react.

"I think that everyone tries to play to their strengths. We are very clear about they way we play. Sometimes you can't win, like against Greece, but today we have been able to get all three points."

Spain have now earned four points from added-time goals in their 10 competitive matches since Luis Enrique returned, having previously battled back to earn Nations League draws against Germany and Switzerland.

La Roja are also the first team ever to score in 37 successive World Cup qualifying matches, breaking West Germany's record set between 1934 and 1985.

Luis Enrique is confident Spain can find their creative spark when they face Georgia on Sunday after being frustrated by Greece in their opening World Cup qualifying clash.

Spain had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their first Group B encounter in Granada on Thursday after they could only muster two shots on target.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring, but Anastasios Bakasetas' penalty 11 minutes into the second half was enough for Greece to earn a point.

Luis Enrique is backing his side to put that disappointment behind them when they take on Georgia in Tbilisi.

The Spain head coach said in a press conference on Saturday: "You depend on the quality of the players and we have a lot of that, for which I am calm.

"There are no bottles of pills for inspiration, if you find them in a pharmacy, buy me two bottles!"

The former Barcelona boss added: "The team has to attack with freshness without problems. We must make a difference in attack and defence."

Luis Enrique is not sure what approach Georgia will take after he felt they were unfortunate to start their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Sweden.

He said: "I don't know what Georgia will do against us, but against Sweden they generated a lot of scoring chances. I think Georgia deserved to draw that game.

"They played Sweden face to face and I hope for a similar Georgia. It won't be easy."

Luis Enrique once again allayed injury concerns over Sergio Ramos after he was withdrawn at half-time against Greece and said Gerard Moreno's fitness will be monitored in training.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique clarified that Sergio Ramos' half-time substitution had nothing to do with injury, instead managing his minutes ahead of two more 2022 World Cup qualifiers as he allayed concerns.

Real Madrid and Spain captain Ramos was replaced at the interval by Inigo Martinez, who gave away the penalty in Spain's surprise 1-1 draw with Greece in Granada on Thursday.

Ramos missed two months of club football with a knee injury, the 34-year-old star defender returning earlier this month for games against Elche and Atalanta before missing Madrid's LaLiga clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday due to a shin issue.

​"Sergio Ramos is perfectly fine," Luis Enrique said post-game. "He didn’t play the last game with his club due to a blow.

"We had already decided in advance that he would only play the first half and he is perfectly fine.

"He is available for the following games."

Ramos, who has a record 179 international caps, is in the mix for Spain's upcoming qualifiers away to Georgia on Sunday and Kosovo on Wednesday.

Alvaro Morata told his Spain team-mates to expect more negative tactics in their next World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Sunday. 

Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the country's opening Group B fixture in Granada on Thursday as their opponents set up defensively straight from kick-off.

Morata put Spain ahead with a stylish volley, but visitors Greece equalised with their only shot of the game courtesy of a Anastasios Bakasetas penalty.

Spain monopolised possession with 79.9 per cent and made 920 passes with a successful accuracy of 92.4 per cent.

However, Greece's defence stood firm as they won 42 duels to Spain's 33 with Georgios Tzavellas making the most clearances in the game and Konstantinos Tsimikas the most tackles on either side with five apiece.

Morata predicted Spain's players will face more teams who will try to stifle their play, starting with Georgia at the weekend.

"We'll have lots more games with rivals who try to do this to us," Morata said in a post-match media conference.

"We knew how Greece were going to try and play us this evening. Any international side which knows how to defend can make things difficult for you.

"In fact, Georgia play in a similar style. We need to get used to having complicated moments and trying to get the best from them.

"We have to draw the positives from this match and keep on working hard."

Spain head coach Luis Enrique echoed Morata's sentiments but insisted despite the setback their commitment to play attacking football remains.

"I don't like the result at all, nor have we been inspired," he said.

"I liked the rhythm, but once we pinned Greece back we didn't flow and fashion the chances that would have enabled us to take a clear lead.

"I did like our attitude and the tempo of play that the team tried to produce throughout. Whenever we got near the Greek penalty area, however, we lacked sharpness and efficiency.

"Sunday will be a similar game, with an opponent who uses the same weapons. We'll continue to insist on attacking in the same way.

"This result doesn't change anything for the next two games. [Attacking] is the most difficult phase in football, it depends on the situations you generate. 

"I don't think this result will influence the following ones."

Alvaro Morata told his Spain team-mates to expect more negative tactics in their next World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Sunday. 

Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the country's opening Group B fixture in Granada on Thursday as their opponents set up defensively straight from kick-off.

Morata put Spain ahead with a stylish volley, but visitors Greece equalised with their only shot of the game courtesy of a Anastasios Bakasetas penalty.

Spain monopolised possession with 79.9 per cent and made 920 passes with a successful accuracy of 92.4 per cent.

However, Greece's defence stood firm as they won 42 duels to Spain's 33 with Georgios Tzavellas making the most clearances in the game and Konstantinos Tsimikas the most tackles on either side with five apiece.

Morata predicted Spain's players will face more teams who will try to stifle their play, starting with Georgia at the weekend.

"We'll have lots more games with rivals who try to do this to us," Morata said in a post-match media conference.

"We knew how Greece were going to try and play us this evening. Any international side which knows how to defend can make things difficult for you.

"In fact, Georgia play in a similar style. We need to get used to having complicated moments and trying to get the best from them.

"We have to draw the positives from this match and keep on working hard."

Spain head coach Luis Enrique echoed Morata's sentiments but insisted despite the setback their commitment to play attacking football remains.

"I don't like the result at all, nor have we been inspired," he said.

"I liked the rhythm, but once we pinned Greece back we didn't flow and fashion the chances that would have enabled us to take a clear lead.

"I did like our attitude and the tempo of play that the team tried to produce throughout. Whenever we got near the Greek penalty area, however, we lacked sharpness and efficiency.

"Sunday will be a similar game, with an opponent who uses the same weapons. We'll continue to insist on attacking in the same way.

"This result doesn't change anything for the next two games. [Attacking] is the most difficult phase in football, it depends on the situations you generate. 

"I don't think this result will influence the following ones."

An Alvaro Morata strike was not enough for victory as Spain began their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Greece in Granada on Thursday 

Morata's stylish volley put Spain ahead in the first half of a Group B clash they dominated with 79.4 per cent of the possession before the break.

But Greece levelled when Anastasios Bakasetas converted from the penalty spot four minutes before the hour mark after Inigo Martínez fouled Giorgos Masouras inside the area.

And although Luis Enrique's side enjoyed the bulk of the chances in the remainder of the game, they were unable to find a winner in an underwhelming start to the campaign.

After a sluggish start, La Roja sparked into life when Dani Olmo rattled the crossbar with a long-range curling effort and, moments later, they were ahead.

Koke showed his guile to cleverly dink the ball over the Greek defence to Morata, who controlled on his chest before crisply striking a fine volley beyond Odisseas Vlachodimos.

Morata went close again early in the second half when his shot hit the side-netting, but Greece soon equalised.

Martinez caught Masouras after a sliding clearance and Bakasetas smashed the resulting spot-kick high down the middle of the goal.

Spain rallied and Morata got on the end of a Ferran Torres cross but was unable to make his header count, nodding straight into the ground, before Jose Gaya teased a low dangerous cross into the box which Mikel Oyarzabal could not convert.

The hosts continued to pile on the pressure late on but were unable to find a way past the resolute visiting defence, their joy evident at the final whistle.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique cast his vote in the Barcelona presidential election on Sunday and kept his fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

The former Barcelona player, who coached the team to treble glory in the 2014-15 season, was one of thousands who turned out to Camp Nou to vote in person.

Barcelona said 20,663 club members had already voted by post for their choice of the president to lead the club forward.

Luis Enrique was among a host of big names who arrived at the club's stadium to have their say in the election, with current players including Lionel Messi also exercising their right.

"It is an opportunity to choose the president of Barca and with joy. I hope that the one who comes out on top, the one picked by all the members, will be the best for the club," Luis Enrique said, quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

He was pictured wearing a face mask as he submitted his voting card, with the elections taking place while COVID-19 remains a major global crisis.

"Everything is strange in these times and what we have clearly demonstrated is the ability that we have to adapt," Luis Enrique said. "We will prepare and look for the positive side of things."

Xavi, a former Barcelona midfield talisman, urged members to come out and vote, to take their chance to influence the club's future direction.

Former president Joan Laporta is favourite to return for a second term in charge, with Victor Font and Toni Freixa the other men in the running.

Xavi, who Font has pledged to bring back to the club as head coach if he wins, had a major distraction on Sunday as his Al Sadd team attempted to wrap up the Qatar Stars League against Umm Salal.

But the 41-year-old wrote on Instagram: "From Doha I encourage all members to vote in the elections of the best club in the world. Long live Barca!"

Things are moving very quickly for Pedri.

This time last year he was 17 years old and preparing for a Copa del Rey clash against Badajoz with Las Palmas, now he is playing for Barcelona and his coach is fielding questions about the possibility of him representing Spain at the delayed Euro 2020.

Calls for him to be considered by Luis Enrique intensified after he produced a fine display in Barca's 3-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, becoming the youngest player in LaLiga history to score and assist in a single game.

At 18 years and 42 days old he headed home an equaliser after Inaki Williams' opener at San Mames and then produced a lovely backheel that Messi steered home to put the Blaugrana on the path to a 3-2 win.

Asked on Friday if Pedri is deserving of a first call-up to the senior Spain squad, Barca boss Ronald Koeman said: "It's not my decision.

"We can say a lot of positive things about Pedri's career so far. Nobody expected a boy of his age to play almost every game. He deserves it.

"It seems like he's been at the club for years, but young players always have ups and downs, you have to see how he continues to evolve, but I have no doubts that he will continue to improve.

"He has to show this level for a longer time, but you don't have to rush."

But how does Pedri stack up against the other options available to Luis Enrique?

A FINE PLAYMAKER

Among Spanish midfielders and attackers playing in the top five European leagues to have featured in at least 10 games in all competitions this season, Pedri ranks sixth in terms of chances created with 26 – 11 shy of Iago Aspas at the top of the list.

Only Isco (31.4) and Cesc Fabregas (30.9) have attempted more passes ending in the final third per 90 minutes than Pedri (30.6), though the Barca star averages more successful ones (24.6) than Fabregas (21.2). Isco leads the way with 25.6 successful passes ending in the final third each game.

AT THE HEART OF THINGS

When looking at the performances of Spanish midfielders in the top five European leagues, only Napoli's Fabian Ruiz (93) has been involved in more unique open play sequences ending with a shot than Pedri (79). Nine of the sequences featuring Pedri have ended in a goal, a tally that only Denis Suarez (10) and Marcos Llorente (13) can better.

The overall expected goals value of the open play sequences ending with a shot or goal that Pedri has been involved in is 10.5, putting him top of the list. It means that not only is the 18-year-old involved in a many passages of play compared to his contemporaries, he is involved in dangerous ones.

Pedri has initiated 16 open play sequences that ended with a shot this season, enough for joint-fourth alongside Dani Parejo. Rodri is top on 22 but his role at Manchester City means he is relied upon to regain possession and start moves from there. Barca would not expect breaking up the opposition's play to be a huge part of Pedri's game, but he is still able to get them moving forward.

Of the shot-ending sequences in open play that Pedri has been involved in, he created the chance and was also involved in the build-up on eight occasions. Luis Alberto (9) of Lazio is the only player with more multi chance involvements.

VERDICT

Spain have an abundance of attacking midfield options, but Pedri is already showing a level of involvement in Barca's build-up play that must surely put him in Luis Enrique's thinking. He has also proved versatile, with Koeman using him out wide, behind the striker and also in a deeper midfield role at times this season. Regardless of where he plays, Pedri is regularly involved in sequences that lead to goalscoring opportunities and looks set to continue doing so for years to come.

Lionel Messi has highlighted Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique as the best coaches he has worked under at Barcelona.

Guardiola coached Messi between 2008 and 2012, with Barca winning 14 trophies during his tenure at Camp Nou.

Tito Vilanova took over when Guardiola left and guided Barca to a LaLiga title in 2012-13, though he left the post due to ill health and subsequently died of cancer within a year.

After Gerardo Martino's brief spell in charge, former Barca attacker Luis Enrique took charge in 2014 and enjoyed three trophy-laden years as Blaugrana boss.

Luis Enrique guided Barca to two LaLiga titles, three successive Copa del Rey triumphs and the 2014-15 Champions League.

In 105 league appearances under Luis Enrique, Messi netted 106 goals – scoring every 84.29 minutes on average – provided 43 assists and created a total of 251 chances.

Now boss of Spain, Luis Enrique left Barca when his contract expired after three years, and Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien both failed to achieve the same level of success, while Ronald Koeman has endured a difficult start.

In an interview with Sexta which is to be broadcast on December 27, Messi claimed Guardiola and Luis Enrique are the very best he has worked with.

"Pep has something special, he makes you see things in a way," six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi said.

"How he prepared the matches, defensively, how to attack, he told you exactly where the game was, how you had to attack to win.

"I was lucky that I had a lot of time with Guardiola and Luis Enrique, the two best. Having them [for so long] made me grow a lot in football and in the tactical wisdom that they taught me."

Messi led Barca to a 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid on Tuesday, surpassing Pele's record of 643 goals for one club side in the process.

Roberto Mancini sees similarities between his Italy side and Spain after they were drawn to face each other in the Nations League semi-finals.

Italy were confirmed as hosts for the finals of the tournament in October 2021, Milan and Turin selected as the venues to stage fixtures.

The Azzurri qualified from Group A1 ahead of the Netherlands and are on a 22-game unbeaten run, though they will have to get past Spain if they are to play in the final at San Siro.

Luis Enrique's side progressed from Group A4 at the expense of Germany, who they sensationally thrashed 6-0 last month in the final round of qualifying games.

Belgium will face France in the other half of the draw, but Mancini believes, like his own squad, Spain are starting to see the benefits following a period of change.

"I think Spain are in a similar position to ours," the former Inter coach said after the draw. "They changed many players but they still have some strong and experienced players like Sergio Ramos.

"They have built a strong team, playing slightly more vertical than previously but still with a midfield so technical. Their style of play, it's not completely different.

"Maybe they added some fast wings that make their play more unpredictable. It will be a very interesting game."

Ramos remains one of the old guard still around for Spain and Mancini sees no signs of the centre-back losing a step, despite now being 34.

While his club future remains unclear – Ramos' contract with Real Madrid runs out at the end of this season – Italy's boss insists the defender still remains one of best in the world at his position.

"I'm not Real Madrid president but I think Sergio Ramos is one of the best defenders in the world for many years," Mancini said.

"He is a great player, he has unique technical skills and he is a very charismatic player. For sure he is the most important player for Real Madrid, but also for Spain.

"He is able to transmit that determination that is very important for a captain."

Both Italy and Spain will compete in Euro 2020 – delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic – prior to the conclusion of the Nations League, though Luis Enrique is a fan of the tournament.

"It is far on the calendar but it is like that because there are no other dates," the Spain boss told the media.

"That it is far away does not mean that we do not have much desire and great enthusiasm to lift this title, which would be wonderful. I consider the Nations League to be a great success and I am delighted to be able to participate in it."

Luis Enrique said his Spain team delivered a perfect display as they thrashed Germany 6-0 to secure their Nations League progression, while also revealing that Sergio Ramos' injury appears to be minor. 

Ferran Torres scored a hat-trick while Alvaro Morata, Rodri and Mikel Oyarzabal also grabbed goals in a remarkable match on Tuesday, meaning Spain top Group A4 ahead of their opponents. 

It was Spain's first win in four matches, Luis Enrique's side having drawn successive matches against Switzerland and the Netherlands on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine. 

However, victory in Seville was never in doubt as they dominated from start to finish, amassing 23 attempts to Germany's two and controlling 69.7 per cent of the possession. 

Neither of Germany's efforts were on target, with Spain the first side since France in November 2015 to prevent Joachim Low's side from hitting the target at all in a match. 

"Well, the game went perfectly. Everyone plugged in and hit the mark," former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique told reporters. 

"Germany has brought out its best team and I think that from the beginning we have played very well, and it is one of the best and most complete matches of the national team. 

"In the previous matches we were superior, but we had no prize. It will be nice to play in the final four.

"These players can represent Spain well. We have a group of 30 players who perform very well. Our forwards have a lot of quality, and I wish we had a player who scored a lot of goals, but today we have seen several players score." 

The only disappointment for Spain was first-half injuries sustained by Sergio Canales and Ramos, both suffering hamstring problems. 

Though unable to confirm a definite timeframe on Ramos' return, Luis Enrique offered hope that the Real Madrid defender will not be out for too long. 

"The injuries are minor and I hope they are out for a short time," he added. 

"It is what I feel the most, because I have been a club coach and I put myself in their place."

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