One more round of international matches, one more senior Spanish national team devoid of any Atlético Madrid players. While it might be bold to question the decision-making of a world cup champion coach, it’s very difficult to understand why José Antonio Reyes was neglected by Vicente del Bosque this time around.
“Maybe Del Bosque doesn’t know De Gea, Domínguez and Reyes are Spanish,” wrote one Rojiblanco twitterer earlier today on the social networking site, as he ironically attempted to explain the logic behind our boys being left off the Spanish national team set to face off against Lithuania and Scotland in the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Injuries to Fernando Torres, Pedro Rodríguez and Jesús Navas opened up a couple of spots on the reigning champion’s roster and Reyes seemed a likely candidate for a call-up to La Roja. Unfortunately, the Spanish coach went with Valencia duo Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Hernández; and Villarreal pair Borja Valero and Bruno Soriano.
Heading into this season, Reyes was determined to return to Spain’s national squad and made his objective known this summer following the world cup. After being chosen by Luis Aragonés to represent his country at the 2006 World Cup, where he appeared in only one of four matches, La Perla was overlooked by Aragonés for the 2008 Euro Cup and by Del Bosque in the recent world cup in South Africa.
His impressive form since returning to first team action roughly a year ago was a key factor leading to a three-year contract extension offer, a deal that was formalised earlier today at the Vicente Calderón. At his signing presentation, the 27-year old told reporters with regard to his exclusion from the national squad:
“It’s not my decision, it’s the coach’s. Obviously I would have liked to have been called upon. I feel that my play right now is at the national team level, but I repeat, it’s up to the manager.”
José Antonio still has plenty of time to convince the Spanish tactician that he is worthy of playing for his nation, and hopefully his omission will further fuel his motivation.
David de Gea also excluded by Del Bosque
David de Gea’s remarkable performances, particularly within the past month, have brought our home-grown star under the shine of an international spotlight. He has been penciled in, with the permission of no one at Atlético, as the future keeper for European titans Manchester United and Barcelona, and is no doubt coveted by several others. Nonetheless, despite his clear and undeniable talent, the Spanish boss did not feel the need to call upon our 19-year old wonder either.
While De Gea is certainly deserving of a call, at the very least as the third-string goalkeeper, it makes sense that he was not tapped to join the senior side. David is more vital to Spain as the Under 21 squad’s starter, as opposed to being reduced to a bench-warming role behind Iker Casillas and Victor Valdés.
Del Bosque’s selection of players from the current top two teams in the Primera División seems to indicate that club performances matter to him. If this is the case, then our poor form of late probably hasn’t done much to help any of our guys catch the Spanish manager’s attention. Another possible explanation for Reyes being excluded could be his recent red card and suspension.
How do you feel about Del Bosque’s new call-ups? Do you think they are more deserving than Reyes and/or De Gea?