La Roja: approved and suspended

This was the performance of the national team players against Kosovo:

Unai Simon: Very attentive to the arrivals of the Kosovars, he solved a heads up with quality in the first part. And in the 80th minute he avoided the 1-1 with another good intervention by clearing the ball to a corner from Bytyqi’s shot.

Marcos Llorente: He returned to play as a right back. He was embedded inside the offensive phase, making a triangle with Ferran and Koke. Whenever he steps in an area, he creates danger. In the 59th minute, when Luis Enrique admitted Azpilicueta, he went on to play inside, in his place. He was traded in the 86th minute for Mikel Merino.

Laporte: He played as a right center-back and had to be attentive to the Kosovars’ extensions, who threw on the left center-back, in this case, Iñigo Martínez. Rashica escaped him several times.

Iñigo Martínez: He had to contest Kosovo’s long throws, his main offensive trick, and he lost several duels. From another mistake of his, came the clearest Kosovar opportunity that Muriqi wasted only before Unai Simón.

Reguilón: He had not been called by Luis Enrique for ten months and he quickly integrated into the dynamics of the National Team. Good in defensive phase and in offensive phase. He looks more mature after his first season in the Premier League. He was replaced in the 86th minute by Albiol.

Busquets: He controlled, kept pace with the game and tried to be attentive to defensive transitions, in which Spain failed again, but this time because of the captain.

Carlos Soler: He gave dynamism and verticality to the game and was associated well with Fornals and Reguilón on the left. When he went inside he also created danger. He was replaced by Azpilicueta in the 59th minute.

Koke: He was once again the lung of the midfield running for him and his teammates. He continued the game and came to the area looking for the goal.

Ferran: He sought one-on-one to break through Kosovo’s defense and also tried to get into walls with Koke and Marcos Llorente. He ends up playing nine, from minute 71, when Sarabia left for Morata. An Adama cross headed a good header, but was stopped by the Kosovar goalkeeper. And in the end he showed his opportunism and won the goal award by making it 0-2.

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Morata: On your line. It moved well, as the Luis Enrique system demands. He participated in the Fornals goal, with a good center and tried to shoot from outside the area looking for the goal. He was substituted in the 71st minute by Sarabia.

Fornals: Surprised his start ahead of Sarabia, the West Ham winger seized the opportunity with a good after a high-quality movement and a left-footed shot to the goalkeeper’s post. He was replaced by Adama in the 59th minute.


Azpilicueta: He came out for Carlos Soler in the 59th minute. He occupied the right side, raising Marcos Llorente from the interior. He fulfilled as he always does.

Adama Traoré: He came in for Fornals in the 59th minute. He entered as a left winger, playing with a changed leg and ended up as a right winger taking out some good cross.

Pablo Sarabia: He replaced Morata in the 71st minute. He always moved intelligently looking for the spaces in the areas that lead you to the goal.

Mikel Merino: He came out for Marcos Llorrente in the 86th minute. He gave consistency to the center of the field and did not allow even one against Kosovar.

Raúl Albiol: He came in for Reguilón in the 86th minute. He played as a right center-back, displacing Laporte to a left center-back and Iñigo as a left-back. Since he left there was hardly any attack from Kosovo. Life insurance.


Luis Enrique: He surprised again with the alienation by putting Marcos Llorente on the right back. The team no longer puts pressure on the opponent’s initiation zone as it did in the Eurocup and suffers a lot with direct football, because it does not control the opponent’s long shots. That happened to him against Kosovo, who gave the feeling of being able to score at any time. He ended up playing with four centrals in the back four line (Azpilicueta, Albiol, Laporte and Iñigo Martínez). He fulfilled the objective of winning in Pristina, but he has work to improve the defensive phase of the National Team that leaves much to be desired.

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