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Balde arrives in Qatar: “It’s a dream. I still can’t believe it”

The Barcelona defender has joined up with the Spanish squad In Qatar: “I’m going to make the most of this opportunity,” he enthused.

El defensa Alejandro Balde (i) saluda al seleccionador Luis Enrique (d) tras sumarse a primera hora de la tarde a la concentración de la selección española en la Universidad de Catar, tras volar desde Barcelona para ocupar la plaza que deja José Luis Gayá por un esguince de tobillo, recibido con cariño a su llegada por el capitán Sergio Busquets que introducirá en el grupo al único jugador que no había sido llamado hasta el Mundial.

Alejandro Balde arrived in Qatar on Saturday, where he has already joined the Spain squad at their base camp. On arrival, he was welcomed by Luis Enrique and his coaching staff. The 19-year-old Barcelona defender was called up at the last minute for the World Cup after José Luis Gayà fell injured. Balde could not hide his joy and disbelief, as this is his first call-up with the senior team and what better way to start than in a World Cup.

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“It’s a dream for me to be here. I still don’t believe it,” the young defender told media upon his arrival at Qatar University campus, where Spain are staying.I am here to make the most of the opportunity, I am very happy. Not a year ago, not even three months ago could I have imagined this. A week ago they came to tell me that I would be coming here and I don’t believe it. That my first call is to go directly to a World Cup... I am still pinching myself. I hope we take the cup home with us”.

After his surprise call-up, Balde was forced to leave the Under-21 camp that is in Seville for a friendly against Japan. “I was in the room with Pablo Torre and suddenly they called me. Luis de la Fuente called me and told me to go up to the meeting room, and there he told me that I would be flying out to Qatar. Right now it feels unreal. I won’t believe it until I’m with my team mates. I haven’t responded to half of the messages yet, I have received a lot. Everyone is writing to me, my cell phone is overloaded,” the Barcelona player replied when asked about the moment he found out that his World Cup dream was now a reality.

I have spoken with Ansu (Fati). Also with Nico Williams, with whom I get along very well. They have congratulated me and I am very happy to be with them. I will make the most of the opportunity. I dedicate it to all the people who have helped me to be here, but above all to my family and my closest friends, who are the ones who are in my day to day and keep my feet on the ground,” Bale concluded.


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