It is the emergence of Fabián Ruiz as a midfielder of potentially the highest calibre that has given followers of Spain’s national team cause to believe they can again dominate international football. Since winning the 2010 World Cup, between two European Championships, and most recently the retirement of the great Andrés Iniesta, they have been waiting for their next generation of leaders to emerge and Fabián is already proving himself capable of being prominent among them.
Recruited by Napoli in 2018 for £30m from Real Betis, where he was succeeded by Giovani Lo Celso, Fabián has become one of the most influential midfielders in Serie A. “He’s a player that I view with great affection and he has developed greatly,” said Quique Setién, his manager in Seville. “Not only is he a great player but (he is) also a very humble boy.”