Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season at the Camp Nou which has even led to a late call-up to the Spain squad for World Cup 2022.
However, it could have been a very different story if Balde had gone out on loan in the summer. Former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes has confirmed the teenager was close to joining Getafe until Xavi intervened, as reported by Diario Sport.
“There was a possibility that Barça, as they did with Nico and Abde, wanted a way out to look for minutes. But everything changed,” he said. “In football, everything is a matter of key moments. All this indeed hinged a lot on the Alonso case that dragged on throughout the summer. With Marcos and Jordi Alba, Xavi had two very good full-backs. But Xavi wanted to bet on the youngster. He had a very good Gamper and the coach realised that he was at a great level.”
Xavi has gone on to make Balde a key part of his squad. The defender has been preferred to both Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso and made 16 appearances in all competitions.
Balde has also demonstrated his versatility and played on the right of the defense when required. The teenager’s good performances have now seen him rewarded with a call-up to the Spain squad following the withdrawal of Jose Luis Gaya due to injury.
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Balde ‘Can’t Believe’ World Cup Call-up
The Barcelona youngster has now joined up with the Spain squad and spoken about how he is feeling about being part of a World Cup campaign for the first time in his young career, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“It’s a dream for me, I still don’t believe it. I’m here to make the most of the opportunity. If they’d told me this would happen three months or a week ago I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said. “I have spoken with Ansu and with Nico Williams, who I get along very well and they have congratulated me. I am very happy to be with them. I am going to make the most of the opportunity. “I remember all the people who have helped me to get here, especially to my family and closest friends who help me …read more