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Valverde's advice to Jordi Alba after Spain snub: Don't go crazy

02 Setiembre 2018

The ex-Culé found the midfielder to be highly versatile, and moulded him into a right-back, thus making him a very important part of the first-team. But now, he also owes his international career to the Asturian coach, with Lucho calling Roberto up to the Spain national team for the games against England and Croatia. He could have been used in various positions in Euro 2016 and the World Cup, but he was overlooked.

Building on the foundations laid by predecessor Julen Lopetegui, Luis Enrique has retained a nucleus of young players - giving uncapped trio Pau Lopez, Jose Gaya and Dani Ceballos a first call-up.

Luis Enrique would not comment on the reasons for leaving Alba out, only saying it was a "good question" when asked if it was because of personal problems between the two.

"[Luis Enrique] picks the squad and chooses who he thinks is the best", Valverde said. "You will have to wait and see who will be the No. 1".

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"Just as I don't like other managers questioning my lineups, I won't question other's [decisions]".

"They have picked up points at two demanding, tough places to visit - [Athletic Bilbao's] San Mames, in particular, is not an easy place to go", Valverde said. "We know how these games are from previous experience and we've already had difficulties against a newly promoted team this season [last week against Real Valladolid]".

"It's not a question for me".

"I spoke with Rafinha this week [about his options], but those conversations will remain private. He is a player who has qualities which we can take advantage of".

Valverde's advice to Jordi Alba after Spain snub: Don't go crazy