David Raya, the pleasant surprise in the Red goal

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It was the big surprise in Luis Enrique’s call-up, the English Brentford goalkeeper David Raya made his debut on a good note on Saturday in a friendly with Albania and showed that he is willing to fight for a place in the Red.

“I am very happy to have made my debut and especially at home, because Barcelona is an incredible city and it has been a very special moment that will mark my entire personal and professional life”, said a happy Raya after the victory over Albania 2-1 .

His ownership was a surprise for everyone, including the goalkeeper himself: “In the coach’s talk, the starting eleven said and I was a little stopped.”

Luis Enrique would explain after the match that the initial plan was for Robert Sánchez to play, but the English Brighton goalkeeper was absent at the last minute due to “personal issues”.

His ‘accidental’ ownership did not intimidate the young goalkeeper debuting with the Red in his first call.

“I think he has the profile to be able to be a good goalkeeper for the national team”, explained Luis Enrique when giving the list for the friendly matches against Albania and on Tuesday against Iceland

“Be it for his quality in goal, to manage any situation in the game with the ball at his feet, to generate the first superiority that is something that our team’s goalkeeper does,” added the Spanish coach.

Raya, 26, did not disappoint and, although he had limited work, he put in a good performance, which did not tarnish the goal conceded in an unlucky action on a bounced ball.

His ownership with the national team culminates a good year for this Spanish goalkeeper, who at the age of 16 left for English football.

Trained at Cornellá, Raya was one of the players sent to try out with Blackburn Rovers a decade ago, as part of a collaboration agreement between the two clubs.

The Spaniard then stayed with the English club, which at the age of 19 loaned him to Southport, from the English fifth division, where he put in a great performance in the 2014/2015 season.

He returned to Blackburn where he made his debut with this team in the Championship, the English second division.

The Spanish goalkeeper, who is characterized by good reflexes and good footwork, established himself in the English team before signing for Brentford in 2019 with the mission of moving up to the Premier League.

A goal that he achieved at the end of last season to play his first season in the elite of English football.

In the current campaign, the Spanish goalkeeper has played 16 games in the English championship in which he has received 18 goals and his ownership is indisputable at Brentford.

Raya suffered a knee injury in October, but after three months out, he returned and has soon recovered his best level, to the point that Luis Enrique has opted for him leaving Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea out of this call.

Unknown to almost everyone in Spain, his performance on Saturday put the spotlight on a goalkeeper who wants to fight for a place in the Red team that travels to the Qatar-2022 World Cup.

“I’m here to stay, to fight for the position and to be available to the coach when he calls me,” said Raya after the match against Albania.

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