Spain Coach Julen Lopetegui Praises Kepa, Iñaki, Yeray, and Nuñez As The Future Of The National Team
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui knows a thing or two about Basque football, being from the area himself. Since taking over the National Team in 2016 La Roja have been able to continue their success, but have also seen plenty of new faces join the squad. This summer he has called up Athletic goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to the World Cup roster, while also bringing in Iñaki Williams, Yeray, and Unai Nuñez to train as alternates. Lopetegui recently spoke with Fuera de Juego and made it clear that Kepa has earned his place in the team.
“Players like Kepa, Odriozola, and Monreal will provide the team with solvency and solid performances, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. We know them and we understand that they will help us and are convinced that they can be important players. We have absolute confidence in Kepa. He is here because he’s playing at a magnificent level and has an even better future ahead. Kepa has shown great maturity with situations that are not easy to digest. Everything that happened in the winter has given him the strength and character he needs to play at the highest level.”
Lopetegui went on to say that the other Athletic players who have been called on as alternates are all great, young footballers. He went as far to call them the future of the Spanish National Team. The coach also praised the state of Basque football in La Liga and hopes that the success of Basque clubs continues over the years to come.
“Williams, Yeray, and the other young guys are here because we want to see them. We have hopes for them for the future because they are the future of Spanish football. They are talented, young, and the future of the Selection. Basque football has been at a great level lately. Having so many teams in the Primera is very difficult and I have the feeling that Basque football will continue this excellent time of success. Hopefully it continues.”
Yeray, Nuñez, and Williams may not be traveling to Russia for this summer’s World Cup, but they are gaining invaluable experience while training with the National Team. While they are away on international duty, Athletic will be busy preparing for the upcoming season with the club expected to announce the signing of new manager Eduardo Berizzo by the end of the week. It is going to be a busy offseason in Bilbao and that should have fans excited.