Football is on, and no one can stop it.
We have been treated to more than 12 months of uninterrupted action, with the delayed end of the 2019/20 season, the entire following campaign and the luxury of the European Championships and the Copa America.
One would think that the football world would just take a break and give everyone (both fans and players) the chance to recharge their batteries for a new domestic season. But no! We have the Olympics and frankly we could not be happier.
Spain kicks off and many of their troops are still recovering from the European Championship 2020 semi-finals. But which players should start their Group C collision with Egypt?
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Between the sticks again for Spain / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images
Unai Simon (GK) – He was the hero in the knockout stages for Spain, helped them through a penalty kick and did his best against eventual champions Italy in the semi-finals. Simon has proven his worth, that’s for sure.
Oscar Gil (RB) – On the right back, coach Luis de la Fuente will probably start with Gil, who is behind a solid season with Segunda division winner Espanyol.
Pau Torres (CB) – What an incredible (and long) season it has been for Torres! A Europa League winner with Villarreal, a fantastic campaign with Spain in the summer and now an Olympic look.
Eric Garcia (CB) – Partnering Torres should be Garcia, who played his part in Spain’s Euro 2020 run, in the semi-final defeat against Italy. A scary duo.
Juan Miranda (LB) – Completing the backline could be Miranda, who spent last season on loan at Real Betis, and has completed a permanent move there after a decent campaign.
Another game for the Spanish wonderkid / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images
Dani Ceballos (CM) – The former Arsenal loanee endured a tough second season in England, and that ended his Euro 2020 hopes. Still, he has a chance to impress his nation this time.
Mikel Merino (CM) – He has just run on the international stage for Spain, but Merino was able to cement his place in Luis Enrique’s plans with some good performances in Tokyo.
Pedri (CM) – When he plays his 786th game of the calendar year, Pedri will likely round out the midfield trio. The child is a magician and a joy to watch. Let us not become greedy and burn him out.
A Euro 2020 star / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images
Marco Asensio (RW) – His decent end to the season was not enough to earn a place in Spain’s Euro 2020 adventure, but Asensio has been given an Olympic trip.
Dani Olmo (ST) – The RB Leipzig star shone towards Euro 2020 and caused Italy all sorts of problems with his display as a false nine in the semi-finals. Expect the same again from Olmo.
Mikel Oyarzabal (LW) – This man tormented Italy at Wembley – if only he had his slippers. Still, Oyarzabal is an exciting player and a dangerous weapon.