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Spain coach reveals Carvajal could miss World Cup opener vs Portugal

June 9, 2018 By Ali M.
Julen Lopetegui also offered an update on the fitness of Sergio Busquets.

Spain endured a disastrous 2014 World Cup and will be looking to make amends when they kick off their campaign in Russia. Lifting the title, a possible but difficult proposition, will require all their key players to be in top shape.

One man battling to return to fitness is Dani Carvajal. The Real Madrid right-back suffered a hamstring injury during the Champions League final which initially looked to rule him out of the upcoming tournament, but now appears set to feature.

His road to recovery is not going as fast as preferred, however. La Furia Roja head coach Julen Lopetegui revealed that the 26-year-old could miss their first two games.

This includes the Iran tie on the 20th but the most important clash is their opening game against Portugal. Carvajal, who could still be ruled out of the World Cup, will likely miss out on the encounter with Cristiano and Co. on the 15th.

"You have to hold him back slightly, but I'm sure he'll be ready," the Spain boss said in a press conference, as per AS

“You want him to take two steps forward instead of just one before suffering a setback. I don't know if he'll be ready for the first or second match, but he'll be fine."

Should he not recover in time for those two matches, all hope is not lost, as Spain is still destined to make it to the knockout stage. His experience could prove pivotal in the round of 16 onwards, as the competition will be tough this time around.

Lopetegui also squashed any fears over Sergio Busquets’ fitness after the midfielder missed their friendly against Switzerland. The Barcelona ace sat out that tie due to illness but will be back for their next warm-up game – against Tunisia.


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Tunisia 1 - 0 Spain

June 9, 2018 2:45pmStadion FK Krasnodar (Krasnodar)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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