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Balde called up to replace Jose Gaya

2022 FIFA World Cup: Barcelona starlet Alejandro Balde to get big break at upcoming tournament

November 18, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
The 19-year-old starlet has been given a huge opportunity due to last minute injury in Spain's ranks.

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, teams have been hoping to keep all of their players fit ahead of the much-anticipated tournament.

Unfortunately, things do happen, especially in training, and Spain have now been forced into a last minute change as a result of an injury to one of their players.

Regrettably, Jose Gaya's dreams of featuring for La Furia Roja this year in Qatar, as the Valencia captain sustained an injury during a Wednesday training session in neighboring Jordan.

Many had hoped he would recover in time, but it looks like he will not be able to bounce back from a reported ankle strain and now will have to follow the entire competition from the sidelines.

As a result, a huge opportunity has opened up for another Barcelona youngster. 19-year-old Alejandro Balde, who featured for the Blaugrana reserves, has impressed so much that Xavi has given him regular game time at the expense of experienced veteran Jordi Alba.

Despite his young age, Balde has made 16 appearances for the Blaugrana in all competitions, and has forced his way into Xavi's starting XI. Hence, it is not surprising that he was the first name on Luis Enrique's mind as he scrambled to find a replacement for the injured Gaya.

Balde's inclusion is especially notable as the youngster has struggled with injuries that prevented him from being fully involved in Barcelona's B squad, but he now looks to have put that frustrating spell firmly behind them and at just 19, is on the cusp of achieving a major dream by featuring for Spain at the upcoming World Cup.

Spain, who won it in 2010, will kick off their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica on Wednesday, November 23rd.

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