MADRID – Spanish national soccer coach Luis Enrique said on Thursday that he would like to look like Barcelona defender Jordi Alba, jokingly adding, however, that he preferred his own height.
Luis Enrique (1.8 meter, 5 foot 9 inches) included Alba (1.7 meter, 5 feet 5 inches) in the Spanish squad for the first time as La Roja manager and plan on playing the Barcelona player in the upcoming UEFA Nations League clash against Croatia on Nov. 15.
“I called up Jordi Alba and I am confident it is the best decision at this moment,” Luis Enrique said during a press conference.
The 48-year-old boss denied any personal issues with the left-back, stressing no one knew Alba, 29, better than him.
The former Barcelona coach and Alba reportedly had a public falling out when Luis Enrique had coached Alba at Barça which some pundits had attributed to Alba’s absence from Luis Enrique’s La Roja squad.
Alba did not make Luis Enrique’s previous two rosters since taking the Spanish national team’s helm following La Roja’s early 2018 FIFA World Cup exit by host Russia on a penalty shootout in the round of 16.