Unai Simón and ten more

Unai Simón orders his teammates in a match of the Spanish team. / ef


The goalkeeper from Vitoria, providential against the Czechs, is the only one of those summoned by Luis Enrique who has played every minute in the four games for Spain to close the course

Ignatius Tyko

Still discussed by fans and critics due to mistakes like the one he made at the end of the clash in Geneva and that almost cost two points against Switzerland, if there is a fixed in the Spanish team that Luis Enrique models, it is Unai Simón. The Athletic goalkeeper is the only one of those chosen for the last window of the course that he has played every minute in the first four games of the League of Nations.

The style is non-negotiable for the Asturian coach, determined that La Roja has to be the protagonist from dominance and high pressure against any opponent in the world, but the players change in a studied distribution of opportunities and minutes. All except the Basque goalkeeper, who
against the Czechs at La Rosaleda in Malaga He fulfilled as many caps as years (25).

Since his surprising debut against the Netherlands, on November 11, 2020, when he relegated David de Gea to the bench, spectacular at Manchester United but foolish in the national team, Unai has only missed two games, both friendlies. The rest, always headline.

In each game he leaves a few scares because Luis Enrique always requires him to take the ball played from the cave to gain superiority against the pressure of the rivals and sometimes stand closer to the central circle than to his goal when it is the opponent who initiates the attack and Spain which exerts advanced pressure. But within the national team, Simón is indisputable, appreciated and highly valued.

Against the Central Europeans, Murgia's was providential with a couple of interventions still 0-0. He first deflected a shot on goal by Cerny with a goal score and then he knew how to move back with unusual speed to abort an arrival by Kuchta, after a mistake in the coordination between Eric García and Iñigo Martínez.

Luis Enrique always claims that he has three starting goalkeepers, but no one escapes the fact that Robert Sánchez and David Raya are low-profile and that he even stopped calling De Gea to take pressure off Unai Simón, who at least from the inside has closed all in the goal of La Roja after years without knowing who would be the definitive substitute for Iker Casillas.

The coach from Gijón defends him with a sword layerespecially after a failure. «Unai never makes me nervous. We need the goalkeeper to generate the first superiority and he does it spectacularly. He makes mistakes like Pepe, Lucas or Manolo el del Bombo, but I don't know any other way to play and I don't want to. It is what it is, ”said Luis Enrique, for example, after the agonizing victory against the Swiss.

After the win against the Czechs, the coach insisted on the values ​​of the goalkeeper from Vitoria. Among them, his ability, decision and courage in the aerial game. "It comes in handy because we don't exactly have a very tall team to defend that type of action with pumped balls," analyzed the coach.

As Simón himself foretold as a birthday present, Spain has gone from less to more in these four games, winning the last two leaving a clean sheet and closing the course as leader of their group in the League of Nations thanks also the stumble of Portugal in Switzerland.

exams in september

They are worth four points in the next matches at the end of September, against the Swiss at home and against the Portuguese in Braga, to become the first team capable of qualifying twice for the 'final four' of this tournament of which they are the current runner-up. Those two meetings will be the last before the list for the World Cup in Qatar, which will take place from November 21 to December 18. Luis Enrique will carry out the last tests, but surely he does not experiment under the sticks. Unai and ten more.

After those 25 games with Spain, resulting in 13 wins, 10 draws and only two losses, in Sweden and in the final of the League of Nations against France, Unai Simón assures that he still does not feel fixed and accepts the changing nature of this game, where it is convenient to focus on the present and not make many plans for the future or regret or congratulate yourself for the past.

"I don't feel like a starter. The coach has the three goalkeepers and even one who has not come to this call. Playing came to me overnight and the opposite can happen at any time. The important thing is to always be available and give your best.” Word of Unai, praetorian of Luis Enrique.

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