Spain manager Luis Enrique has defended the Nations League after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described it as “the most senseless competition in the world”.
Enrique’s side sit top of their Nations League group after two opening wins, and resume their campaign against England in Seville on Monday.
But UEFA’s new competition has had its critics and Klopp joined that number on Sunday after Liverpool’s Premier League draw against Manchester City, bemoaning the fact his players had to go away to play in it.
“The Nations League, for me, is a very attractive competition, a perfect competition,” Enrique said at his pre-match conference for Thursday’s friendly with Wales in Cardiff.
“It helps me to see my players compete with selections at our level.
“It also gives us the option of being able to win a title this summer.”
Spain beat England 2-1 at Wembley last month and Enrique is expected to rotate his squad ahead of the return game.
Skipper Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets and David de Gea could be among those who start on the bench.
“He who takes advantage of his opportunity and does well in training will have minutes,” Enrique said.
“We’ve had a few training sessions, but only one where the level of intensity has been very high, as I want it.
“The attitude in everything that surrounds the team is important – and the value of this game is huge.
“There are no points, but we are in a process where no match can be wasted. That is the message to the players.”
Wales will be without Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid forward was ruled out with a groin problem.
“It seems a sensible move due to the injuries he (Bale) has had, but it is a positive for Spain,” Enrique said.
“We have analysed Wales with Bale in the team, and he has great speed, but it does not change anything for us.
“They have good, young players, like Tyler Roberts, and we know it will not be easy.”
The Spain squad held a minute’s silence before their training session at the Principality Stadium on Thursday evening.
The players stood in memory of the victims of the Majorca flash flooding which has killed at least 10 people in the town of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara said: “We’re here not only as Spaniards, but as human beings.
“We’re feeling for the victims and we send our best to everyone who’s trying to help with the situation.”