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Alba denies rift with Enrique

November 14, 2018

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MADRID: Barcelona’s experienced defender Jordi Alba on Tuesday denied any fall-out between himself and Spain coach Luis Enrique after he left Alba out of two consecutive national squads.

Alba has been called up by Enrique for the first time since he started his reign in July, for fixtures against Croatia on Thursday in the Nations League and a friendly at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina three days later. He had been frozen out for games in September and October.

“Nothing happened bet­ween Luis Enrique and I, we never argued,” the Euro 2012 winner said. “Like every coach, he makes his own decisions, we can agree or disagree with them, but I’ve never had a problem with him or his coaching staff.”

Alba, who worked with Enrique at the Camp Nou between 2014-2017, has scored two goals in an impressive start to the season to help the Catalans to the top of the La Liga table, despite Sunday’s 4-3 home humiliation to Real Betis.

A win for Spain against World Cup finalists Croatia on Thursday would guarantee them a place in the Nations League finals.

But Alba, a European champion with club and country, rejected comparisons with the 6-0 hammering of Croatia two months ago.

“This match will have nothing do with it, it will be in Crotia and certainly will be very difficult,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018

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