Kepa: “I have gone through a difficult period that I had to face”

“These two years without coming I was left with the feeling of wanting to be”


The goalkeeper of the Spanish team, Kepa Arrizabalaga, acknowledged this Tuesday that he went through a “complicated period” that he had to face and from which he ultimately learned by not playing as a starter at Chelsea and not going to the national team, in the time of the previous coach Luis Enrique Martinez.

“I have gone through a more complicated period, I had never stopped playing in my life and I had to play fewer minutes. I had to face it, I decided to come home with a calm head and feeling that I had given everything and it was the first step. I worked to turn it around”, he pointed out at a press conference, once again concentrating on Spain.

During that time of substitutions, and of not being called by Luis Enrique, the goalkeeper took the opportunity to improve and to turn the situation around. “I had the option of using it (the situation) to improve and having more time without games gives you more time to work on yourself, on the details that you did worse,” he acknowledged.

“I see it as something positive, within a not pleasant situation. I took each game as a great opportunity. Now the coach trusts me every weekend and I try to take all that in which I have improved day by day,” said Kepa, who could also start with Spain, in Luis de la Fuente’s first game as coach, although Unai Simón is absent due to injury.

From Luis Enrique’s previous stage, he acknowledged that everything that happened was discussed with the Asturian. “In those two years and something without coming, because in each call I was left with the feeling that I would have liked to be. But the situation was clear, and I spoke with Luis Enrique and while he did not play in my club I understood that he did not have the opportunities to come here,” he agreed.

“Each player and situation is independent. At the time of making the last call-up you already have a base team and it is more difficult to change. I had it more assumed and my first step was to recover ownership in my team”, he commented on that period of absence .

Now, however, he is ready to return to defend the Red. “I see myself prepared and eager. Obviously I want to play, but it is a question for the coach, who decides. I have to be prepared, the best possible, and if I have the opportunity, then take advantage of it,” he argued.

The first challenge will be Norway, which will be without its main star, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, due to injury. “It seems that Haaland is not going to play, he is a very important player who affects his team and us because of the way we play. But they have Odegaard and other players that we will have to control,” he warned.

“Obviously he’s a player who makes a difference in every game, he’s scoring a lot of goals. But he also makes a lot of difference in what his team does. He’s more of an area player, unstoppable in the last meters but intervenes less in creation. He’s better than not be there but another forward will come out who will try to do it well and change nuances”, he stressed about Haaland.

“Starting any classification by winning already marks the way. The first games are very important. It’s a game that we play in front of our fans and that we have to take advantage of. It’s going to be tough, with a new coach and new ideas to take on and adapt to. We’re going to have to put all five senses into it”, he commented on the duel against the Norwegians.

On the other hand, when asked why De la Fuente is asking the goalkeepers, he pointed out that they are things that they have already acquired. “We’ve barely been there for a day and a half. We’re adapting to what the new coach wants, he continues to demand that we help the defensive line and have a good relationship with them, that we help the passing game, that we pay attention to the balls behind our backs and be one more player with the ball”, he revealed.