Iker - Valdes claims justified
Spain goalkeeper acknowledges level of competition
By Mike Barton. Last Updated: March 3, 2010 6:23pm
Valdes: Uncapped for Spain
Spain No.1 Iker Casillas has conceded that he understands the calls for Victor Valdes to be given an opportunity in the national team.
Barcelona goalkeeper Valdes has enjoyed great success since graduating through the club's academy to become the most successful keeper in the club's history, with three La Liga and two UEFA Champions League medals to his name.
However, despite the 28-year-old's achievements between the sticks for one of the best club sides in world football, Valdes has surprisingly never been capped for his country.
The Catalan press were incensed that Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque once again overlooked Valdes, whose club form this season was revealed in a study by Prime Time Sport to be the finest in La Liga, and second only to Benfica's Quim in the whole of Europe.
Valdes' club rival at Real Madrid Casillas, talking ahead of Spain's friendly in Paris against France on Wednesday, was adamant that while he appreciated the clamour for Valdes' inclusion, there were also others in the league that could come into the side.
"At the moment there are a lot of names and many goalkeepers vying for the places and any one of them could come in," said the Spanish skipper.
"I understand about Valdes, just like I do about Cesar [Sanchez], [Andres] Palop, [Sergio] Asenjo and [David] De Gea, who could all be here too.
"With this level of competition for places Spain is the winner."
When asked about the verdict not to give Valdes an opportunity, Del Bosque put the decision down to the fact that there was a vast amount of competition.
"Valdes is having an excellent season and is playing very well and I appreciate that," said Del Bosque.
"I fully understand the frustration that players feel when they are not called up.
"In the case of Valdes it comes down to the competition that there is for goalkeeping places. That is my only excuse."