Barcelona youngster Balde called up to replace injured Gaya in Spain World Cup squad
- Gaya injured in training
- Will return home from Qatar
- Balde will fly in as a replacement
WHAT HAPPENED? The Valencia defender suffered an ankle sprain on Wednesday evening while training in Amman, Jordan. The initial reports showed that it was not a major injury. However, the worst case scenario came true for the Valencia skipper and he has now been ruled out of the entire World Cup. He will be replaced by Balde of Barcelona.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 19-year-old left-back was training under the guidance of Luis de la Fuenta, in the Under-21 team and is in good shape. His impressive performances for the Catalan club have forced Xavi Hernandez to relegate veteran defender Jordi Alba to the bench and include him in the starting XI. He has already racked up more than 1,100 minutes this season in 16 appearances across all competitions and also boasts three assists in La Liga.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
🚨 OFICIAL | Alejandro Balde se incorporará a la @SEFutbol como sustituto de José Luis Gayà.— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) November 18, 2022
El futbolista, que estaba concentrado con la Sub-21, se unirá a la expedición española en Doha.
ℹ️ https://t.co/F83HSSHc5C #VamosEspaña | #Catar2022 pic.twitter.com/vWTpucS32A
Alejandro Baldé's rise has been unbelievable. Hardly played for Barça B last season due to injuries. There were even talks of leaving on loan.— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) November 18, 2022
Had a good pre-season and never looked back. Became Barça's first choice left-back and now on his way to the World Cup.
Just 19yo! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/JBjt7a7PW9
FROM LA MASIA TO THE FIFA WORLD CUP.— Sara 🦋 (@SaraFCBi) November 18, 2022
Alejandro Baldé is one to look out for 🇪🇸🏻 pic.twitter.com/ViPcfQOxBl
WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? Luis Enrique's troops will begin their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica on Wednesday.