Fresh from scoring twice in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over CSKA Sofia, Fernando Morientes today received the boost of a recall to the Spanish national squad. He will be joined in the squad by three of his Liverpool team-mates, meaning that Liverpool are the club with the most players in the squad.
New Reds keeper Pepe Reina and midfielders Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia are in the 22-man squad for the friendly next week against Uruguay. The game is to be played in the northern coastal city of Gijon.
Nando hasn’t played for Spain in almost a year. His last match was in September of last year when Spain played Bosnia in a World Cup qualifier. He then suffered from the politics at Real Madrid and rarely played before being signed by the Reds in January. He has scored 24 times in 38 appearances for his national team.
Liverpool’s four representatives in the squad beats the three representatives each for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
The other strikers in the squad include his former colleague at Real Madrid, captain Raul. Spain have struggled to score goals recently – two goals in three games as a host of chances were wasted. Spain boss Aragones was delighted to see Morientes perform so well for the European Champions, and hopes that he can return to his previous form for his national team. He said: "Morientes has always performed well for the national team and he is an important player not just because of his ability to score goals but for his all-round play."
Aragones also claimed that his job would be easier if the four Liverpool players were still based in Spain: "It is positive that Spanish players have gone to teams like Liverpool. Getting to know another style of football is good for them, but I do wish they were all playing in important Spanish teams and getting games for them in the Champions League and UEFA Cup."
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
Defenders: Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Sergio Ramos (Sevilla), Asier del Horno (Chelsea), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Juanito (Real Betis), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Ivan de la Pena (Espanyol), Joaquin (Real Betis), Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio (Deportivo Coruna), Albert Luque (Deportivo Coruna), Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Luis Garcia (Liverpool), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Vicente (Valencia)
Forwards: Raul (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Raul Tamudo (Espanyol), Fernando Morientes (Liverpool)