The squad for Spain’s friendlies against Argentina and Austria over the coming week were announced and several Barça were included.
Casillas, Reina, Diego López; Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Iraola, Capdevila, Marchena, Albiol, Puyol, Piqué; Busi, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta; Silva, Pablo Hernández, Güiza, Negredo, Mata, Villa, Jesús Navas.
The Barça players that were included are Puyol, Piqué, Busi, Xavi, and Iniesta, but the obvious absence is Víctor Valdés. Really? Come on, now. I personally believe that Iker Casillas is the best keeper in the world, but what has Pepe Reina done this year to further cement his role as second choice keeper in friendlies? As I understand it, the third spot is kept for up-and-coming keepers, so why is Diego Lopez, who is older than Valdés, still given that spot?
After his most recent exploits against Webó (1:15) in Barça’s 4-2 win over Mallorca, what more proof can a national team manager require before calling someone up? His saves against Drogba in last year’s CL semis turned out to be par for the course rather than breaks from normalcy, though we all should have seen that coming, starting with his stonewalling of Drenthe in the Camp Nou clásico months before.
Perhaps he has a defense that allows him to look good and yeah, he sometimes looks a little fishy coming off of his line during corners, but it’s not like he’s made any egregious errors this year. Others have, I know (1:25). Yet he sits at home while everyone else trundles off to international duty. Seems unfair and I, for one, am here to declare that Víctor Valdés should get called up to the national team.