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Luis Enrique backs under-fire De Gea

Spain
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Spain FA chief thanks country's president for World Cup plan backing

Having won the World Cup with France himself in 1998, Frank Leboeuf tells the FC crew he understands Paul Pogba's struggle to refocus.

The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has thanked the country's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, for his backing of a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

On Monday, Sanchez announced plans for a bid to be made alongside Portugal and Morocco.

"In these cases, you have the football side and that of diplomacy," RFEF president Luis Rubiales told reporters on Tuesday.

"I believe the prime minister has taken a further step and has done so to help football, and we have to thank him for that. But there is nothing more to add -- it's something that has only just started."

In September, Rubiales had sought government backing for Spain to host a major tournament in the next 12 years.

"One of the issues I presented to our prime minister was to host a big event in the future considering that, since the 1982 World Cup, there had not been a major tournament staged in Spain," he added.

"The prime minister thought it was a good idea and, considering the good relationship that exists between us, he offered to help and cooperate.

"There is a commitment from my part to try to improve our football infrastructure, which is in a deficient situation with respect to other countries.

"One of the formulas is to stage a big event, and we have the cooperation of our government."

Rubiales denied claims that Sanchez' announcement had taken the RFEF by surprise, adding: "Of course I was made aware beforehand."

But Portugal's Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, said Spain had yet to officially put forward a joint bid.

"It's an uncertain idea that has never been officially proposed to us," he told Spanish agency EFE. "Once it is, we will naturally study it. It could be rewarding, but also expensive."

Spain launched an unsuccessful joint bid with Portugal to stage this year's World Cup, which took place in Russia.

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