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Raul Axed by Spain

Raul will not take part in this summer’s European Championships after being told of his exclusion from the 23-man Spain squad chosen by coach Luis Aragones.

That means the responsibility of scoring goals will fall on the shoulders of Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, Valencia’s David Villa and Real Zaragoza’s Sergio Garcia, all of whom have the talent to terrorise any defence in Austria and Switzerland this summer.

Raul has still played a key role for Real Madrid in recent years though, but maybe it is time for younger, fresher faces to try and win Spain’s first ever major trophy.

The squad certainly has the ability to do so, but will the fact that they so often struggle in big tournaments prove a mental barrier for some of their stars?

Even if they do perform to their potential, heavyweights such as Germany, Italy and Portugal will provide hugely stern competition to lift the trophy at the end of June, in what should be a truly enthralling summer of football entertainment.

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  1. Lonnie

    May 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    What’s always impressed me about Raul is that he gets the job done with his brain and technical ability not pace or power and that’s why he’s remained effective even as he has gotten a bit older.

  2. Ivan

    May 19, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Jlay. David Villa? what should convince you is the bloke has a awesome goal record at both club and country level.

    Raul is getting into some form, i would have had him the squad. Not only the number of goals this season but the sheer quality of goals IMO.

  3. Alex Hleb

    May 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    i hope clichy does find a way to get in the squad. he deserves it.

  4. JLay

    May 19, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Unfortunate – while Raul is definitely getting on in his career, the guy still has it. I’d keep him on as a super-sub if nothing else, and there’s something to be said for experience.

    Torres and Garcia ae legit, but I’m not convinced about Villa yet. Even with those three, I’d still keep Raul as a fourth option.

  5. Ivan

    May 19, 2008 at 3:15 am

    Joaquin is a slight surprise but as you alluded to Valencia have had a dreadful season (silva though got into the squad), he started the season very well but like most of the squad didn’t cover themselves in glory from their on. Vicente is an exceptional talent unfortunately he was injured just recently. Not a fan of Valdes at all, i think he is at best a good goalkeeper. Sure he can be unbeatable at times but i get a feeling of unsteadiness. My concern is the soft centre of defence of Spain….

  6. wanderer_abroad

    May 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    On closer look at the Spanish squad there are actually quite a lot of surprises. No Joaquin, no Vicente (although I would imagine he’s injured cos he always is) and no Valdes. Would have liked to have seen the young Mata from Valencia get in as he has been one of the bright sparks in their dreadful season.

  7. Ivan

    May 18, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Not really an axing considering he wasn’t in any of the squads in the last year or so. I think he might have appeared in one of the early ties in qualifying. Would have been surprising to see him get into the squad. Sergio Garcia and Carzorla are the two surprises.

  8. Michael

    May 18, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    The French squad hasn’t been finalized yet, Alex, but yeah, not being included in the provisional squad is a bad sign for Clichy isn’t it?

  9. wanderer_abroad

    May 18, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    The Clichy one was definitely a surprise, especially seeing as Boumsong managed to smuggle himself in.
    About Raul, its simply ridiculous. I’ve watched alot of spanish football this season and Raul was easily the best striker of the season. I’ve always thought Aragones was an idiot but this takes the mickey a bit. Its likely that Spain will probably reach the the quaters and get knocked out by the likes of Austria and Aragones will stay on because the spanish FA are either too stupid or scared to sack him.

  10. Alex Hleb

    May 18, 2008 at 11:57 am

    the biggest surprise was gael clichy being left out of the french squad.

  11. Michael

    May 18, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I think the bigger surprise was Bojan not being called up, Aragones has never really liked Raul so that wasn’t really a shock to me.

  12. The Gaffer

    May 18, 2008 at 8:38 am


    We’re gearing up for Euro 2008. Between now and the end of June, we’ll have plenty of Premier League coverage but also news and analysis of Euro 2008.

    The Gaffer

  13. Burt Reynolds

    May 18, 2008 at 8:18 am

    What does this have to do with EPL..?

  14. Anonymous

    May 18, 2008 at 7:48 am


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