During the week national team manager Lopetegui has been doing his best to prepare the finest talent in Spanish football. The Basque is a solid coach and yet to come under fire from any quarter avoiding the traditional criticism where every fan of "La Roja" suddenly becomes a national team coach with their own defined ideal starting XI. Happily these days there is less of that with Lopetegui seeming to get his team selection process right. For those of a certain generation we can recall a time where there was too much overlay between the Spanish national team and club loyalty with certain people celebrating a goal with less enthusiasm if it were scored by the likes of Amancio, Gárate or Rexach, the only thing we did seem to agree on was that Iribar was unquestionably the starting goalkeeper.
Germany and Argentina
We're right in the middle of the build-up ahead of two important pre-World Cup friendly games against Germany (away) and Argentina in Madrid. Both teams were the finalists in the 2014 Brazil World Cup and both national teams include many players still active from the Rio final. I'm looking forward to these games with Spain facing top quality opposition. An away game against Germany is always tricky with the country undergoing a turbulent twentieth century but having the resolve to reconstruct itself to be one of the leading political powers in Europe. After the game in Dusseldorf "La Roja " face Argentina and an entire book about the history of their national team could be written.
Argentina has offered the world such footballing talent as: De Stefano, Maradona and Leo Messi. I'm not sure if you would select one of the three as the best player of all time with the likes of Pelé and Cristiano candidates to be added to the debate but I'm sure we'd all agree that three Argentinian players would figure high in the overall ranking. Of the three, Lionel Messi is still active and is incredible. It will be interesting to see him prepare for their Spain game with Argentina training at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training ground. Cristiano gives over his usual stomping ground and it will be curious to see the Barça star going through the drills in the space normally reserved for his rival week in, week out in LaLiga.