Luis Enrique felt Adama Traore showed his “purest form” as he appeared to nail his colours to the Spain mast in a lively international debut.
Traore’s international future has been the source of some speculation after the Wolves winger was called up to both the Spain and Mali squads for this window.
The player, who is eligible for each country, belatedly made his bow for La Roja on Wednesday in a goalless draw against Portugal and could become cap-tied in the coming week.
Traore had twice earlier been called up but missed out due to injury and then coronavirus, yet patient head coach Luis Enrique saw exactly the player he had hoped for in Lisbon midweek.
The Spanish-born star appeared for just 28 minutes from the bench but created a huge chance for Dani Olmo, who shot straight at Traore’s club colleague and Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
“Adama has been Adama in his purest form,” Luis Enrique said of Traore, who was marked by Nelson Semedo, yet another Wolves man.
“That is what we want him to be, with his ability to beat opponents. He has played a killer pass to Dani Olmo that did not lead to a goal.
“With one player they will not to be able to stop him. They are going to have to use two players.”
— Adama Traoré Diarra (@AdamaTrd37) October 7, 2020
Portugal struck the crossbar through Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches at the other end, and Luis Enrique certainly felt there was no shortage of entertainment despite the scoreline.
“People cannot be sad today for not having seen goals,” the Spain coach said. “It was fun. We created that, and who scores interests me very little.”
Luis Enrique would not complain if future matches were a little calmer, however, adding: “Sometimes we do not read the game well.
“We have phases in which we lose control. I do not like that the games go crazy.”
Opposite number Fernando Santos was not enthused, meanwhile, similarly feeling Portugal needed to have a firmer grasp of proceedings.
Portugal boss Santos, who described the opening stages as “miserable”, said: “It will be a different game [against France in the Nations League] for which we’ll have to take a different approach.
“We’ll have to work well and with another degree of focus. I hope we’re at the best level in that game.”
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