ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Spanish national team coach Julen Lopetegui said on Monday that the team would give a good performance in the friendly match against Russia despite the absence of Isco Alarcon.
The Real Madrid playmaker will miss Tuesday’s friendly in St. Petersburg after suffering an injury during Spain’s 5-0 win over Costa Rica over the weekend.
“Isco is a player who we have praised. He is in fantastic form. But with or without him, we will certainly be a good team and tomorrow we have the opportunity to show it,” Lopetegui said at a press conference ahead of the match.
Praising the Russian squad, the Spaniard said that “every friendly match is important” given the lack of any official matches between now and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“They have very good players, as they’ve always had historically. (They are good) both at physical and technical levels. They will definitely push us to the limit and to play a good game to compete with them,” Lopetegui said of the Russians.