Sunday, December 5

The imposing arrival of Carlos Soler | sports

Midfielder Carlos Soler (right) celebrates the second goal against Georgia in the 2022 World Cup tie
Midfielder Carlos Soler (right) celebrates the second goal against Georgia in the 2022 World Cup tiePIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

If there was any positive news of the defeat of Spain against Sweden it was the irruption of Carlos Soler. Not only did he score the goal, he was the best of the midfielders lined up by Luis Enrique. The setback ended up burying the premiere of the fine Valencian midfielder, 24 years old. The performance convinced the Spanish coach so much that he again gave him the title on Sunday against Georgia. In the Nuevo Vivero de Badajoz, Soler displayed all his finesse. Always with his head held high, he served as the interiors of a lifetime. From the start, he honored the number 10 that has been awarded to him in the national team and he shines at the Mestalla. His passes uncovered the corridors through which to begin to dismantle the Georgian defensive approach.

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With Gayá and Sarabia, Soler rode on the left the triangle that is so important in Luis Enrique’s offensive plan. Another goal, attacking the space from the second row, as in the Friends Arena, ended up surrendering to the coach in the press room of the Badajoz stadium. “He started the season at a very high level, we have been following him for a long time. He is a midfielder who has very good ball handling, who knows how to pass passing lines and with a good finish ”, Luis Enrique praised him at the end of the match against Georgia (4-0). Two goals and an immediate adaptation to the demands of the coach have been his letter of introduction in his two games as a senior international. “He has started the season in an incredible way, not only because he is scoring goals, but because of the personality that he is showing. In the national team he is helping us a lot, he has adapted very well and it is strange because he has not been long. He is seen to play with incredible naturalness. After a few hard years, he is enjoying himself ”, says his partner Gayá.

The interior position is one of the most agitated by the selector in its two stages. Canales, Parejo, Saúl, Isco, Fabián, Thiago, Ceballos and even Dani Olmo have passed through there. Pedri and Koke settled in the Eurocup, but the search for Luis Enrique is continuing in a position where he is very demanding. “It is the most difficult position and the one where you have to work the most in attack and defense. The two interiors are mainly those that are responsible for blocking the rival players of more creation. They must be attentive to the players who leave the forwards free to make the jump to pressure. From there, we try to recover the ball in the opposite field; once we recover, they have to have more than enough capacity to filter passes, drive to arrive and shoot ”, Luis Enrique usually explains, who in Badajoz also pointed out that“ Soler has a good shot, takes fouls and takes penalties ”. In the player’s environment, they report that the hitting of the ball in the lower categories of Valencia earned him to be used as a specialist. In tournaments in which changes were allowed, such as in handball, he entered the field to take the fouls and returned to the bench.

In this last list, there were two significant drops compared to the Eurocup. Thiago and Fabián Ruiz, two regular insiders in the Asturian coach’s calls, were left out by technical decision. Prone to moving the tree when he detects that a position can be improved, the coach included Soler in the summons. The follow-up to which he referred on Sunday was about to be finalized with a call at the end of last May. For this reason, in the federation, the appeal of the Valencian interior did not cause surprise. Soler was about to be called up for the Eurocup. Until the last moment, Luis Enrique doubted between Fabián or the Valencian player. In the end, he opted for the Naples midfielder.

The inclusion of Soler in the parallel bubble of players that the federation had to set up when, in the days before the Eurocup, the positive for Busquets’ covid-19 jumped was another sign of how close the list for the European Championship was to be included. In the week he was exercising, Soler was one of those who most filled the coach’s eye. “This evolves and people have to be awake, some come out of Europe strengthened and others weakened. I am very wrong, but there are only 24, and I invite everyone to make me rectify ”, Luis Enrique warned the day he released the list after being questioned about the absences that had nothing to do with the breaks granted to Pedri, Pau Torres, Dani Olmo and Oyarzabal for their participation in the Olympic Games.

In Soler’s explosion that has taken him to absolute internationality, Voro, a man for everything at Valencia, has been key. His great season finale responded to the confidence of a coach who has known him since he was a child. He sent him to his natural position, the indoor one, and gave him back the joy for the game and for playing. So much so that as soon as he landed from Tokyo he went to take a PCR-type test to train that morning with his club. “You can tell that it is rolling and that it has not stopped, it is at a peak of form above the average at this point in the season,” they conclude in the federation.

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