Aragones retains faith in Raul

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Raul Gonzalez will continue to be picked for Spain, coach Luis Aragones said on Wednesday.

Meilla, Spain:

Raul Gonzalez will continue to be picked for Spain, coach Luis Aragones said on Wednesday. Even though he is Spain's captain and all-time leading scorer with 44 goals in 99 appearances, Raul is widely seen as being less effective over recent years. But Aragones said the Real Madrid captain remained central to his plans. "He is a very important player for Spain and its national team. That's what he has shown up to now," the coach was quoted as saying by sports daily Marca. Aragones included Raul only twice in Spain's four World Cup matches in Germany, although he played him as a substitute in the other two. The 29-year-old forward, playing in his third World Cup, scored in the group game with Tunisia. "Raul was in the World Cup and he will continue forever as long as his performances are good," said Aragones, whose team was eliminated in the second round by France. Aragones, who lost for the first time in 26 matches in charge against France, leads Spain for the first time since on Tuesday. The team plays a friendly in Iceland, one of its opponents in the qualifying stage for the 2008 European Championship. Spain kicks off its Group F campaign with a home game against Liechtenstein on September 2, and then visits Northern Ireland four days later. It also faces Sweden, Denmark and Latvia. (AP)

Topics : Football Valencia Real Madrid FC Schalke 04
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