Those who haven’t played for a single minute want to make it very difficult for Luis Enrique. One of them is Eric Garcia (21 years old), one of the names that look set to debut in the World Cup vs Japan.
Today, MD published an interview with Eric Garcia. The young defender shared his thoughts about Barça, Spain in the World Cup and their next opponent- Japan.
Barcelona’s central defender already played against the Japanese in the semifinal of the Olympic Games in the summer of 2021. Spain won that game 1-0. Now eight of those footballers are the base of the new Japan. One of them is also his childhood friend Take Kubo.
Spain reach the third game as leaders of the group of death. not bad
I think that before arriving here we would all wanted to be in the situation we are in. Therefire in this sense I am very happy.
Although after the game against Germany, people left angry, dissatisfied. That says a lot about the group’s ambitions.
In the end we always want to win. It was a game in which after the 1-0, we were controlling well. Moreover, we even had the chance to score the second goal. But then they managed to scode in the final minutes. But it says a lot about the team, when we have this response after drawing a game.
“If something characterizes this team, it is the group we have created”
It has been seen for a long time. If something characterizes this team, it is the group we have created, the atmosphere that exists and that makes it noticeable later on the field when it comes to playing.
And also those who do not play. Everyone always feel very close.
You, for the moment, are still waiting for your debut. How are you doing?
Whether you play or not, the important thing is the team. We would all like to play. But the coach has to choose eleven players that he thinks will play the way he prefers for that match. So those who don’t play have to give the extra push so that those who are on the field play as they are doing now.
It is very tough to enter the eleven
It is. There are 26 players of a level that, as the coach always says, anyone could play. There is a very high level and we all have things very clear when we have to play. Yes, it’s hard.
“Rodri is very good, he knows how to play with the ball, and he has great positioning”
In his position there is a lot of competition and Luis Enrique has also converted Rodri as a center back
It’s very nice. He controls the ball well and has very good positioning. I guess that’s what the coach was looking for. Both he and Aymeric (Laporte) are playing at a very high level.
Now it’s time for Japan and rotations are expected. Is it your turn?
Obviously I’m prepared. It’s our job when we’re not playing. Train to the maximum and if the coach decides that we should have the opportunity, make the most of it.
A replacement for Busquets is also being sought, including in the national team. Xavi said that you could be a good pivot. Can you see yourself there?
It is a position in which I have never played, really. They really want to remove me from the central position… (laighing)
What does Luis Enrique mean to you?
I have always said that he has given me incredible confidence and my obligation is to return it. Not just me anymore, it helps us all. He has a very clear idea of playing in which I feel quite identified. It is a pleasure to have it.
He is a coach who is very close to the players. He transmits what he sees and how he sees it. That gives a player a lot. If you don’t have the opportunity in games you have to show that you are equal to or better than the one who is playing. If you do not give everything in training, he will see that you are not ready.
Japan arrives with an Olympic team base. Eight players, specifically. You faced them in the semifinals in 2021
It is a very complete team, with players of great individual talent because many are playing in Europe. In Germany, in Spain Take plays… They are very orderly and physically they don’t stop running. It’s going to be a difficult game.
It could be something similar to that semi that ended 1-0 with a goal from Asensio.
We will try not to because that was a very open game, with a lot of back and forth. That works for them. So we hope to have more control of the game.
You will face a player you know well, a good friend like Take Kubo
At Real Sociedad he found stability that perhaps he had not had in recent years. We are revisiting the Take that we saw as a child, which was already showing some spectacular skills. And in the end, with this talent that he has, it shows.
Kubo left for Japan but after that you have maintained the relationship. Did you talk about this game?
Not during the World Cup. We saw each other when we played against Real Sociedad. But not now. We’ll talk
After the match.
As children we were practically inseparable.
I remember that at the beginning he came many times with his family to my house. Obviously, he didn’t speak much of Spanish and so they wouldn’t feel alone we made a very good relationship.
Are you being able to follow this World Cup?
Yes. Except for the matches that were played when we were training, I’ve seen them all.
The possible rivals you could run into in the round of 16?
They are complicated. I liked Morocco a lot against Belgium. They are a very organized opponent, with a lot of individual talent. They can also play football very well. Obviously, Belgium or Croatia also have a lot of individual skills and Canada surprised me a lot too.
And as a centre-back, is there anyone who has caught your attention in your position?
No, the truth is that I knew them all. It is a World Cup in which the best of each team are there and it shows.
It is a selection with a lot of culés. Do Barça and La Roja feed each other?
The way the coach wants to play is very similar to that of Barça and in that aspect helps more, yes.
The meaning of being at the top of La Liga. Especially after the Champions League elimination
It was very important. In the League we come from a very upward trajectory. The game against Osasuna was very difficult, playing with one less player, and it was a team victory.
When they return Barça will have four competitions at stake. Do you feel compelled to win?
Yes Yes. That is the goal we have.