MADRID, 20 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Former Spanish coach Javier Clemente explained that “in a World Cup it is important to have courage in the first game”, which is why he believes that the “youth” of Luis Enrique’s list could be an “inconvenience”, although he also brings “caste” and “aggression” to one of the “favourites” to lift the trophy in Qatar.
“Spain has options to win the World Cup, but a favourite… It is one of the favourites, it is within a group of favourites, although it does not have a very high popular tendency to be a favourite, but that is not bad,” Clemente analyzed in an interview with Europa Press after the presentation of the Frecuencia 0.0 initiative organized by Tanqueray 0.0.
The former coach of teams such as Athletic Club or Atlético de Madrid defended Luis Enrique’s call-up for the World Cup, a list with 20 rookies and an average age of no more than 26 years. “Youth in soccer is good, but it has drawbacks. In the World Cup, those who have experience and a trade are more regular, calmer,” he explained.
“The youngster has more caste, more aggressiveness, but the precipitation is bad. I like the youngsters, but I like the young-veterans more, being 34 years old and having the enthusiasm and hunger of a 20-year-old. In a World Cup It’s important to have courage in the first game”, Clemente analyzed.
The 72-year-old former coach and coach of Spain in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, recalled that he “also led a very young team.” “I took Luis Enrique at the age of 23, also Julen Guerrero, ‘Chapi’ Ferrer, Sergi… But the World Cup is very hard, the first game is very hard, you have to know how to play it. The problem with youth is that they can be in a hurry from the first game, and you have to be intense, but calm. But I have a lot of confidence in this team,” he added.
“I like Luis Enrique’s character, I don’t think he looks like me at all, he is smarter, he comes from another time. He has been a player at high levels, he has won the ‘Champions’. But he is spontaneous, like me , we are from the north, we answer what comes to mind. We do not go into conjectures as they say, he is such a good person that I think he is incapable of messing with anyone”, he said about the Asturian coach, the “best” for the position because “it is the one that is”.
In addition, he highlighted his ability to pick up the noise and criticism that can surround the squad, something that “leaves the squad very calm”. “The bad thing is when you start to question the players who are there, saying ‘why isn’t this one here? The players don’t like that. Sergio Ramos, Eric García…”, he stated.
Finally, Clemente, remembered for his pragmatic and direct style, addressed the debate about winning or losing but playing ‘pretty’. “What the footballer wants is to win. Do you think he thinks he has to touch the ball 457 times? The footballer wants the game to end, win 1-0 with a penalty in the last minute. Do you think they cry in the changing room of how badly they have played? On top of that, someone has a cousin…”, he argued.
“Real Madrid won the ‘Champions’, and after winning it, who talked about the qualifying rounds that played a ‘whore’ penalty in Paris and Manchester? Do you think anyone remembers that they played a ‘whore’ penalty? “, he concluded.