Spain might not have beaten Germany but they passed the Bayern Munich test in 1-1 Germany draw

PETE JENSON: Spain might not have beaten Germany but they passed the Bayern Munich test in 1-1 Germany draw… Luis Enrique has shown Xavi how to get the best out of Barcelona’s stars – old and new – and their board will be watching with interest

Spain didn’t get the win they needed to assure qualification but this was Luis Enrique’s side passing their Bayern Munich test and it will only increase belief that they can go all the way in Qatar.

Spanish sides have suffered at the hands of German teams in Europe this season with all four losing to one in the Champions League. But no team has suffered more than Barcelona at the hands of Bayern and this Luis Enrique team is built on five Barca players.

The veterans Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, and the kids Gavi, Pedri and Ferran Torres plus substitute full-back Alejandro Balde all suffered this season at the hands of Bayern, who beat Barcelona in the Champions League 5-0 on aggregate over two matches. Last season it was even worse with Barca beaten 3-0 twice in the group stage. And the torment goes right the way back to 2020 – Busquets and Alba will still have nightmares over an 8-2 loss.

Luis Enrique's side might not have got the win but Spain passed their Bayern Munich test

Luis Enrique’s side might not have got the win but Spain passed their Bayern Munich test 

There were six Bayern players in the German line-up on Sunday night but Spain were not fazed. In Europe the likes of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich make Pedri, Gavi and Busquets looks like two kids playing with their dad in midfield. Swap the Barca shirts for Spain ones and it’s the Spanish midfielders who look like giants.

The difference between the way those three play for Spain and the way they play for Barcelona has been noted by the Barca board who will monitor Luis Enrique’s situation at the end of the tournament. He does not have a new contract and could walk away after the World Cup.

Barca want to stick with Xavi but he has admitted that if they fail to win anything this season someone else will come in and former Barca boss Luis Enrique has shown himself capable of getting the best out of not just Gavi, Pedri and Busquets but also Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres.

Alba has been written off at Barcelona. He is the expensive veteran they have tried to push towards the exit. He has become third choice behind Balde and Marcos Alonso but he remains one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe as his assist for Alvaro Morata’s goal showed.

Jordi Alba has been written off at Barcelona but impressed for Spain and set up their goal

Jordi Alba has been written off at Barcelona but impressed for Spain and set up their goal

Barcelona want to stick with Xavi but he will need to win trophies this season to stay at the club

Barcelona want to stick with Xavi but he will need to win trophies this season to stay at the club

Barcelona tried to force through the sale of Alba to Inter Milan in the close season but he resisted and not having played too much this season he looks as fresh as he was when he scored one of the four goals that beat Italy in the 2012 Euro final.

Torres is another success story for Luis Enrique. He has admitted he would have to take him off immediately if he ever did the dummy in the mouth goal celebration – he is currently the boyfriend of the Spain coach’s daughter Sira – but on Sunday night he took him off late in the second half the German defence tired, only after he had seen him once again perform better for Spain than he does his club.

Spain are not Barcelona, Luis Enrique for the moment is not Xavi. It was notable that Germany seemed happy enough with the draw. Once they had equalised there was no desperate charge forward in numbers to get the winner.

It’s because they believe Spain will beat Japan. It’s because they feared a late Spain winner. It’s because they respect Spain, in a way at club level their biggest club Bayern have long since stopped respecting Barcelona. That’s a win for the Spanish, and especially for their coach Luis Enrique.

Pedri has been impressive for Spain throughout their opening two World Cup group games

Pedri has been impressive for Spain throughout their opening two World Cup group games 

Despite being only 18-years-old Gavi has been one of Spain's most important players so far

Despite being only 18-years-old Gavi has been one of Spain’s most important players so far 



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