Sat, 23 Sep 2023

DOHA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Spain coach Luis Enrique said he was "the leader" of the national team as he looked ahead to his side's opening match in the World Cup finals against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

"The leader of the national team has to be the coach because it's me who decides who plays and when we travel and things like that," said the Spain boss.

"I am a leader who has to give solutions to the team," he added, insisting he was "very calm and looking forward to starting and giving people something to celebrate."

Enrique said he had "maximum respect for Costa Rica," who is appearing in its sixth World Cup finals.

"We know Costa Rica and their players and their coach (Luis Fernando Suarez) is an expert. I am sure they are going to be competitive, and we have to be attentive and get it right because we want to go to the final," he added.

The Spain coach said that "in theory" Alvaro Morata, Dani Carvajal and Hugo Guillamon will all be available after slight physical issues in the past few days, and insisted his only problem in picking Wednesday's side was choosing between players at the top of their game.

"I don't have any doubts because of doubts or tactical decisions. My doubts are because of the high level they are showing. The training sessions have been spectacular and we are working at a level that means we will start games strongly."

"I choose my players due to the 'feeling' I have and I'll decide my team tomorrow considering our rivals and the game," explained Enrique.

"We have prepared the best way possible. We know what we have to do and we are a group that has worked together for a long time," he added.

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