The left side of the Spanish team Jose Luis Gaya will miss the Qatar World Cup after suffering a sprained ankle, being replaced by the young Barcelona player Alejandro Balde, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) reported this Friday.
“José Luis Gayá will not be with Spain in the World Cup in Qatar,” said the Federation in a statement.
“After analyzing the situation carefully, and always consulting with the medical services of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, (the coach) Luis Enrique has made the decision to replace the Valencia winger,” the note added.
Gayá suffered a “low-grade lateral sprain in his right ankle” on Wednesday during training before the friendly match against Jordan (3-1).
“In a fortuitous action, alone, making a cross, he had a little problem”, explained the Spanish coach, Luis Enrique Martinez, after the match played on Thursday afternoon in Amman.
“Tomorrow (for this Friday) we will make a decision when we are clear about it, but it is the unpleasant news of these first days,” added the Spanish coach, predicting a tough outlook for Gayá, which has ended up being confirmed.
“The coaching staff understands that they need the 26 players in full to face the challenge of the World Cup, as demanding as it is exciting,” said the RFEF this Friday in its statement.
The Federation expressed its “affection” towards the player, who will return to Spain in the next few hours.
Gayá will be replaced by the young Alex Baldecalled up for the first time with La Roja, after a great performance with Barcelona at the start of the season.
“After it was confirmed that José Luis Gayá has to leave the concentration of the Spanish National Team due to injury, the coaching staff has made the decision to replace him with Alejandro Balde,” said the RFEF, adding that “Luis Enrique has taken into account his brilliant start to the season”.
Balde, 19, with a Bisau-Guinean father and a Dominican mother, will travel to Doha from Seville, where he was concentrating with the Under-21 selectionwho will play a friendly match against Japan this Friday.