The first criticism was Enrique’s squad selection as he opted not to call any Real Madrid player including skipper Sergio Ramos and he also left behind Celta Vigo star Iago Aspas, who had an excellent season in La Liga.
The former Barcelona manager also snubbed the likes of Saul Niguez and Jesus Navas and stuck with young talents like Pedri, Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo – no wonder La Roja’s current squad are the youngest among the Euro participants.
Spain decided to call up around five players as backup options but Enrique will have the final say whether they would make it to the final squad.
Spain could suffer from the absence of a leadership in their attacking line, and Ansu Fati will surely be missed in this tournament. Marco Asensio should also look at his options as lack of game-time with Real Madrid would not help him during selection of national squad. The Spanish has always scored when he was brought on but he had never been first-team player for Los Blancos.
Enrique, who is one of the most gifted but stubborn managers, had previously played down the pressure.
The former Catalan manager said: “I expected it to be hotter to tell the truth.”If there’s something good about human beings, it’s their capacity for adaptation. We look forward to the future, despite having a tough week.”
Enrique limited his squad strength to 24 although UEFA had allowed all the competing teams to call up to 26 members.
However, he still justified the reason by stating that the increase in squad numbers could be more prone to virus.
“Right now, I’d call up 23 players instead of 24.
The more people you have together the easier it is to get the virus, I would not have changed my plan.”
It remains clear that Enrique is keen on ushering in a new era of young talents but the only question is if he could be successful with his attempt.