Eric García assumes gallons in a defense axis with little filming

Eric García, during his press conference with the Spanish team. / EFE

League of Nations

Faced with the absences of Laporte and Iñigo Martínez, the Barça player and Pau Torres become the theoretical pair of central defenders for the League of Nations, with Diego Llorente and Guillamón in the chamber

Jose Manuel Andres

He is usually in the eye of the hurricane when he plays with the national team, but the truth is that Eric García is still important for Luis Enrique less than two months before the start of the World Cup in Qatar. The relevance of the Barça central defender increases in this last international window before the World Cup due to the absences in the Spanish defense. Aymeric Laporte and Iñigo Martínez are not there, the two most experienced players on that part of the pitch beyond Sergio Ramos, an option that already seems definitively ruled out by the Spanish coach.

The absences place Eric García and Pau Torres as the theoretical pair of central defenders for the League of Nations matches against Switzerland and Portugal, with Diego Llorente and Guillamón in the chamber, but the pressure of the environment does not seem to take its toll on a footballer aware of his relevant role in Lucho’s tactical board.

“They don’t affect me, I got used to it last season. I was a little surprised at first, but you get what this is all about. You listen to those who know the most and he is already there », explained the Spanish international when questioned about the criticism of his performance in the national team, making it clear that he is already a full-fledged footballer, accustomed to the demands of the elite .

Accustomed to fierce competition at Barça, where he is accompanied in the position by Araujo, Koundé, Christensen and Piqué, there is the paradox that the outlook is much clearer in the Spanish team. Although 17 duels as an international do not yet allow us to speak of a heavyweight in La Roja, only Pau Torres, with 19 caps, surpasses him among the list of central defenders summoned by Luis Enrique on this occasion. Diego Llorente, another regular but with more citations than minutes, accumulates a dozen meetings with Spain, while Guillamón has played two friendlies, including the one against Lithuania prior to the European Championship in which the Federation resorted to the sub-21 players by the contagion of covid-19 of Sergio Busquets.

Rematch in the League of Nations

The competition has a special meaning for the Catalan defender, as he still has in recent memory the final of the last edition, which Spain ended up losing to the France of Mbappé and Benzema with a controversial goal by the PSG attacker, who started the race ahead of the Spanish defense but enabled by an involuntary touch by Eric García and an offside rule that is now history. “It was pretty obvious that play was offside. The other day in the talk they told us that they had changed their criteria, it is a bit late but at least they have rectified it, ”valued the Barça center-back in relation to that controversy that placed him in the spotlight with an official title at stake.

Now, Spain has the option of repeating in the final four of the League of Nations, which will be played in June 2023. It starts with eight points out of a possible twelve, one ahead of Portugal, and faces Switzerland in Zaragoza on Saturday and the Portuguese team in Braga on Tuesday, a duel that is presumed decisive to decide the first place in the group, the only one that grants the ticket for the final phase. “Hopefully we can get back to the final phase. We have two games against two very complicated rivals but we already know them from the last window », he pointed out in this regard.


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