Real Madrid‘s Nacho Fernandez has said he hopes he’s done enough to merit a place in Spain starting line up when they face Portugal, and club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, in their opening World Cup game.
The defender told Marca: “I hope that I have the chance to play against Cristiano Ronaldo, we must be focused on cancelling him out.
“The coach knows that I’m qualified to start in this position, I’m prepared.”
Nacho came off the bench in Spain’s final warm up friendly – a 1-0 win over Tunisia in Krasnodar, where Spain have set up their World Cup base.
One of Nacho’s biggest assets within the Spain side is his ability to play a number of positions. Preferring to play as a central defender, the Real Madrid player has no qualms filling in at full back or even elsewhere on the pitch.
“Everyone knows that I feel more comfortable in the centre than at full-back, but I’ve played big matches there [at full back].”
The 28-year-old demonstrated his versatility for Spain in the match too, shifting to left midfield once Jordi Alba was substituted and the side switched to a back three.
Nacho highlighted his club teammate Ronaldo as one of the major threats going into the opening game against Portugal, and it remains to be seen whether the Spanish trust the Real Madrid man with the task of shutting down his highly-lauded opponent.
Back at club level, Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain with suggestions that his time with Los Blancos could be coming to an end following the club’s most recent Champions League success.
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However, the Portuguese talisman is under contract until 2021 and Nacho said he believes the 33-year-old will stay in Madrid.
“I expect to see him in the final, and at Real Madrid too. I’m calm, he has a contract with us. I hope that he stays as part of our team.”
Following their match with Portugal, Spain also face Iran and Morocco in Group B.