Aragones defends Oleguer

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Luis Aragones has defended Oleguer's inclusion in the Spain squad that met in Madrid on Monday, despite the defender's appearance in a publicity campaign for a separate football team for Catalunya.

The Spanish coach called 33 players to a get-together in Madrid as a bonding exercise and Oleguer was called into the set-up for the first time, but his support for the Catalan independence campaign drew sharp criticism.

Under the slogan, 'one nation, one team', Oleguer is set to appear as the star of a campaign to promote Catalunya's bid to be able to play competitive games, instead of the annual Christmas friendly.

Aragones is unimpressed by the media hype surrounding the Barca player and insists that Oleguer has never been critical of the Spain side.

"I have spoken to Oleguer and he has never said anything against Spain," the national trainer said, "The things we spoke about will remain private, but I have treated him like any other player.

"I know many players that have played for three teams and there is never a problem. I am not interested in the political or religious beliefs of any of my squad, I simply never ask.

"In the Football Federation there are the names of all the players that I can call upon and I choose who I want. I have spoken with all the players individually and as a group and it was good."

After calling together a number of Spain regulars as well as players who have never played for the team, Aragones was asked for his reasons for arranging the meeting.

Aragones added: "I want the younger players to get to know me and see how things work as we begin to the countdown to the World Cup."