Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente has responded to the widespread blame placed upon his shoulders for the injury suffered by Barcelona midfielder Gavi.
The name of youngster Gavi of course took its place front and centre in the Spanish media headlines across the recently-completed international break.
This came after the midfielder suffered a serious knee injury whilst lining out for his country.
The blow, which has since seen Gavi ruled out for the remainder of the season, was picked up during a European Championship qualifying clash with Georgia.
With La Roja having already secured their place at the tournament ahead of the matchup, and Barcelona’s gifted academy product fresh off a start just three days prior against Cyprus, though, questions have since understandably been asked of the aforementioned Luis de la Fuente.
The powers that be at Camp Nou are said to have been left livid with the situation, adamant that Gavi should have been afforded some much-needed rest.
De la Fuente, however, is of an altogether different opinion.
Speaking during an interview with Cadena Ser, as cited by Sport, the Spain boss was drawn on Gavi’s injury, as well as the role played by him and his coaching staff.
And De la Fuente was unwavering in his stance that La Roja did nothing wrong.
Questioned on reports that Barcelona had made contact with officials from the Spanish national team in advance of their meeting with Georgia to request that Gavi be rested, he responded:
“I understand that if they had called, they would have told me. I do not interfere in what happens in the club, when they are with us we only think about the national team, when they go to their clubs, I say goodbye to them by telling them to think about their clubs.”
De la Fuente continued:
“All the players wanted to play the second game and Gavi especially because he is a marvel, a gifted player. He himself told us in the locker room that it wasn’t in the first match. The doctors told us that he is stable, that there is no instability in the knee and it allowed him to continue playing. If we had seen something, an obvious injury, it wouldn’t have been there for a second longer. We have our doctors, who are highly accredited.”
La Roja’s boss concluded:
“In Spain there are no formalities. Whoever says the match was a formality, it is not like that. Even if it were a friendly, the best players always have to be with Spain.”
Conor Laird | GSFN