Euro 2024 qualifiers: Spain coach Luis de la Fuente calls up uncapped duo Oihan Sancet, Fran Garcia

The uncapped duo has been included to the Spanish squad to face Scotland on October 12 and Norway on October 15 as it bids to secure qualification for the tournament in Germany next year.

Published : Oct 06, 2023 20:01 IST , Barcelona - 2 MINS READ

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente during a match.
Spain coach Luis de la Fuente during a match. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente during a match. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente called up some fresh faces including Real Madrid defender Fran Garcia and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Oihan Sancet for upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers.

La Roja faces Scotland on October 12 and Norway on October 15 as it bids to secure qualification for the tournament in Germany next year.

Garcia was part of the squad which triumphed in the Netherlands this year as Spain won the Nations League but has not yet made his debut, while Sancet is included for the first time.

The 23-year-old midfielder has been sent off twice this season in six La Liga appearances for Athletic, scoring one goal against Alaves.

Garcia has had a mixed start at Madrid following his summer move from Rayo Vallecano, with some strong contributions in attack but issues defensively.

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“(Sancet) gives us a lot, plays between the lines well, gets into the box, has fantastic potential and fits our idea, we trust him,” said De la Fuente.

“Fran is a player who will have a big career, it’s normal to have these bumps when you arrive at a club like Real Madrid,” the 62-year-old coach added. 

The coach also selected Barcelona’s teenage winger Lamine Yamal again. The 16-year-old became Spain’s youngest ever player and goalscorer in September as they thrashed Georgia.

Responding to questions on whether a player so young should be part of the international set-up, De la Fuente said, “We always look to make the process as reasonable as possible, but there are players who knock on the door sooner than others,”

“He has fantastic potential, exceptional qualities. Remember when (Diego) Maradona or (Lionel) Messi were 16, if we said they shouldn’t have played, now it would seem like sacrilege.”

He added, “Players who have that special touch, so different, you can’t set limits for them, you have to let them develop all their potential and show their class.”

Scotland top Group A with 15 points from five games, including a 2- 0 win over Spain in March, with Spain second on nine points, having played one fewer match.

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The coach said he hoped Spain, confirmed as one of the 2030 World Cup hosts alongside Morocco and Portugal this week by FIFA, would eventually be chosen to host the final.

“I would like the World Cup final to be played in Spain, that we have this final, that’s my dream,” concluded De La Fuente.

Spain squad
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Real Madrid), David Raya (Arsenal/ENG)
Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad), David Garcia (Osasuna), Pau Torres (Aston Villa/ENG), Aymeric Laporte (Al Nassr/KSA), Alejandro Balde (Barcelona), Fran Garcia (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City/ENG), Martin Zubimendi, Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Fabian Ruiz (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Gavi (Barcelona), Oihan Sancet (Athletic Bilbao)
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Joselu (Real Madrid), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Lamine Yamal, Ferran Torres (both Barcelona), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)
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