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Christian Panucci: "Piqué has got balls... a lot of balls"

Spain-Albania

Christian Panucci: "Piqué has got balls... a lot of balls"

Panucci: "Piqué me parece un tío con huevos, con muchos huevos".

Manuel Lorenzo

EFE

The Albania boss professed his admiration for the divisive Spain defender ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Alicante.

Alicante

Albania coach Christian Panucci spoke to the press ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifier against Spain in Alicante on Friday evening.

Match expectations:My intention is to play a serious game, we’re not here to make up the numbers. We have a lot of respect for Spain because they have a great team. We want to do everything possible to make life difficult for them, but with humility.”

Real Madrid past: “I don’t feel anything especially because the important thing is my players. My only responsibility is that my side plays a good game. There are no particular emotions.”

"If my players aren't motivated for this they should change jobs"

Motivation: “This is a game the whole world will be watching. If my players aren’t motivated to play the best they can, they’d be better off changing jobs.”

Injuries: “We have important players missing but we also have the quality and level to cover for injuries and suspensions.”

Playing style: “We’ll play courageously, but it often depends on the opposition you have in front of you and the quality they have. Spain don’t let you play and they push you back but we’ll try to hit them on the break and do everything we possibly can.”

Piqué: "He speaks his mind and he's sincere"

Piqué:Genuinely, he seems to me to be a person with balls, with a lot of balls. He speaks his mind and he’s sincere, he isn’t two-faced. He’s free to say what he likes about his life as long as it’s done with respect. I’d like to make it clear that I’m not getting involved in politics.”

Challenge: “I’m not thinking about that. I’d like for my players to get their reward because these games are unforgettable and can allow you to go down in history. We know it will be difficult to get a result but in football you never know. We’ll play our own game.”

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