Spanish football

Selection. Pau Torres gets on for the Games – SPANISH FOOTBALL

by: Adam Smith

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Selection. Pau Torres gets on for the Games - SPANISH FOOTBALL 1

Pau Torres, if no injury prevents him, will be one of 18 footballers who attend the Olympic Games to represent Spain. The Central Defense of the Villarreal was born in 1997, so it is eligible to go to Tokyo without having to occupy one of the three places for the over 23s that FIFA allows.

Pau has already been a regular in the last calls of the Absoluta, by the hand of Robert Moreno, and came very close to going to the Euro Under-21 last summer. He eventually fell off the list because Luis de la Fuente chose to take only three pure power plants (Meré, Vallejo and Núñez) because he had Igor Zubeldia for that position. However, the situation has changed a lot in recent months: Meré, Vallejo and Núñez are substitutes in their teams (Cologne, Wolverhampton and Athletic, respectively) and to this day Pau Torres is a permanent fixture for the coach.

Pau Torres already played a match under De la Fuente, with the U-21, in November 2019. He played 29 minutes against Malta. He was then on loan at Malaga and it was Jesús Paredes, who reports for the Federation, who recommended the coach to convene him. From the Source, who really trusts the instinct of the one who was physical trainer of the National Team during the stage of Luis Aragonés. He left very good impressions in the two calls he attended.

The situation in the defense can lead to surprises. In this generation Vallejo and Meré are fixed. In fact, the first one is the captain of the group. But the lack of minutes of both of you is of great concern to De la Fuente. The same goes for Unai Nunez, although his case is different, because he is very likely to go out in winter in search of those minutes that will allow him to go to Tokyo. However, in the case of Meré and Vallejo it seems less likely an exit in the winter market, so their options of going to the Games go by earning a spot on their teams by June.

Ramos’ choice

The places in defence can be even smaller if Sergio Ramos were to attend the Games, something that is now unlikely. The idea of De la Fuente is to use the three exceptions that FIFA allows to call three of the nine footballers born in 1996 who were European champions last summer in Italy. The selector, at the moment, does not discard any options. But only if exceptional situations occur (injuries, low moments of form…) would change your idea. At the moment Fabian and Ceballos are fixed, while Mikel Merino departs with an advantage over Roca and Fornals to occupy that third place. Sivera, Junior, Aguirregabiria and Pedraza, the other four champions, have very few options to go.