Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Barcelona striker sends a message to Xavi: I play better on the right

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Barcelona striker Ferran Torres has sent Xavi a clear message about his favorite role during his international stint with Spain in Qatar at the 2022 World Cup.

The versatile attacker can play anywhere in the front three but says he is at his best when he’s on the right side of attack, as reported by Diario Sport.

“I can play in any of the three positions up front, but I played my best football on the right wing,” he said at a press conference. “But the most important thing is to play, no matter where. As long as I’m playing, I can do it in any top position. I’m more comfortable on the right, although lately I’ve been playing more on the left or up front.”

Torres started the season on the bench for Barcelona but had managed to force his way into the squad ahead of the World Cup. The 22-year-old has scored five goals in all competitions this season but faces a real minute-long battle with Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Ansu Fati.

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The forward is part of a large Barcelona contingent in the Spain squad. Eric Garcia, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati and Jordi Alba have also been called up by Luis Enrique.

There was also a late spot for youthful defender Alejandro Balde. The youngster has replaced the injured Jose Luis Gaya and Torres feels he fully deserves to be part of the squad.

“He was shortlisted because he had a great start to the season, including on the right,” he said. “It’s a shame about Gayà, but it motivates us to make him happy. We will help Balde to feel at home.”

Spain open their World Cup season against Costa Rica and Torres expects a tough game against difficult opponents.

“We know from Costa Rica that they will be very intense, that they will close with four or five defenders,” he explained. “Since it’s the first game, it gets more and more complicated. We have a team of analysts who show us images of our rivals. From there we analyze and see how we can counter them and take the game where we want to go.”

Torres is expected to start for Spain against Costa Rica, although there is some debate as to where he will play for La Roja. Spain lack a reliable goalscorer and the striker could be fielded in 9th place.

The Barcelona forward says he’s happy to play a central role but highlighted the other options Luis Enrique has available for the game.

“Morata is there, but Asensio, Olmo, Ansu or I can also play,” he said. “It’s good that there are eight strikers, we bring more physical effort and are used to being substituted more often.”

Spain are aiming for a strong start to the World Cup with a win against Costa Rica, especially as the second group game against Germany is a tough test.

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