Luis Enrique looking forward to welcoming back Busquets and Diego Llorente

So, it's all set to start today...the delayed Euro 2020 tournament will finally kick-off in Rome tonight. Delayed for a year as a consequence of the global covid pandemic and designed originally to be staged in 12 different cities (now 11), games will go ahead with supporters present albeit in reduced numbers and adhering to strict covid protocols. The pandemic has been creating headlines closer to home and has caused two players to abandon the Spain squad with group E opponents Sweden also suffering with players testing positive. Things get underway with Turkey facing Italy at the Stadio Olimpico and Spain start their campaign next Monday hoping to put a turbulent week behind them as they face Sweden in the heat of Seville.

Euro 2020 - Turkey TrainingSoccer Football - Euro 2020 - Turkey Training - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 10, 2021 General view inside the stadium before training REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Luis Enrique press conference

Luis Enrique spoke to the media yesterday and handled himself admirably after a complex few days for the Asturian head coach. He spent considerable time in going into detail about the impact of the two cases and explained the reasoning behind creating a parallel bubble squad as a 'Plan B'.  He was also anxious to praise his players and complimented those players recently called up who abandoned holiday plans to train with the squad at the Las Rozas HQ. He was also adamant that neither Sergio Busquets or Diego Llorente would be replaced but would be welcomed back into the camp as soon as they get the medical green light.


Vaccination situation drags on

I'm also hoping that we can put the matter of the players being vaccinated to bed today too with the J&J one dose vaccine being touted. Some players may get the Pfizer but given the practicality of the Jansen vaccine, that is the preferred option for the Spanish FA. This whole affair has been addressed way too late and there is an outside worry that a few players may suffer side affects with Monday's game looming large on the horizon but at this late stage, what can one do? This episode has been an unwanted distraction ahead of the tournament but am quietly confident that as soon as the action gets underway, we'll all forget about these side-shows, such is the power of football.