Dani Carvajal is once again a part of the Spanish National team set-up after recovering to full fitness in the last few weeks. Luis Enrique had stated that the fullback would have been a part of all his National team selections had he been fit. Lucho’s words of confidence were further backed up with a starting role for Carvajal in an important World Cup Qualifier vs Greece. Spain had to win the match in Athens in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying and avoiding the playoffs, with Sweden currently topping the group.
Carvajal was not the only new face to enter Luis Enrique’s starting XI, Raul De Tomas started as the team’s striker — in tandem with Alvaro Morata. With RDT, Morata, Carvajal, and Sarabia all starting, there were four La Fabrica products in Spain’s starting lineup. RDT was quoted earlier in the week as saying the Spain team has La Fabrica DNA. Rodrigo Moreno entered the match around the hour mark, adding yet another Fabrica product to the mix.
As for Dani Carvajal’s individual performance, he was rarely tested by Greece or their left winger, Mantalos nor left wing back, Giannoulis. There was natural chemistry on the right flank between Sarabia and Carvajal with the winger tucking in centrally and Carvajal providing the width in attack. The fullback had 2 completed dribbles and 1 key pass. Rather than his offensive output, it was Carvajal’s ability to close down space and recover the ball quickly that stood out.
The big match for Spain will be on Sunday, when they take on Sweden. It will be interesting to see if Lucho decides to start Carvajal with Real Madrid being careful to manage the fullbacks minutes since his return from injury.