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'I still don't believe it!' - Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde delighted with Spain World Cup call-up

14:00 EAT 20/11/2022
Alejandro Balde Barcelona 2022-23
Alejandro Balde has admitted that he is still in shock after being called up by Spain manager Luis Enrique for the World Cup.
  • Dream come true for Balde
  • Has enjoyed promising season at Barca
  • Replaced Gaya in squad following injury

WHAT HAPPENED? The Barcelona youngster replaced Jose Gaya in the Spanish squad after the Valencia defender suffered an ankle sprain during training.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters, Balde said: "It’s a dream for me to be here. I still don’t believe it. I am here to make the most of the opportunity, I am very happy. Not a year ago, not even three months ago could I have imagined this.

"A week ago they came to tell me that I would be coming here and I don’t believe it. That my first call is to go directly to a World Cup... I am still pinching myself. I hope we take the cup home with us."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 19-year-old left-back has appeared in 12 La Liga matches this season and registered three assists. He was training with the Spain Under-21 side in Seville ahead of a friendly against Japan before Enrique called him up to the senior squad.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? La Furia Roja take on Costa Rica in their opening fixture of the World Cup on November 23.