April 11, 2008

Raúl González will not be going to the European Championships with Spain after being left out of a list of 31 names called upon to have inoculations for the tournament.

Coach Luis Aragonés was forced to name a pool of players from which he will name his squad in May after UEFA stated that every team member be vaccinated against a outbreak of Central European Encephalitis and that means having the jabs early.

Reluctantly, the veteran trainer has given over the names and Raúl's absence is not that unexpected with the Real Madrid skipper not having represented his country since September 2006. Aragonés has chosen to name the players that he tried once or twice with Barça's Bojan Krkic, Sevilla's Andrés Palop and Getafe duo Rubén de la Red and Pablo Hernández being included.

Los Merengues do have Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos included, while Barcelona has Bojan as well as Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. David Albelda has also been named despite not playing for Valencia since December, while Álvaro Arbeloa has also been retained along with Liverpool teammates Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres.

The absence of Raúl may meet with an outcry from the Madrid-biased press, such as AS, which was driving a campaign to see the goal-scorer recalled. But that plan looks certain to have failed as those included in the 31 that do not make the initial squad, will be used as cover in case of injuries, meaning that Raúl will not even sneak in through the back door.

The 31 players called up on to have the vaccinations are:

Real Madrid - Iker Casillas, Serio RamosBarcelona - Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Bojan KrkicReal Mallorca - Daniel Güiza, Fernando NavarroArsenal - Cesc FàbregasLiverpool - Pepe Reina, Álvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Fernando TorresGetafe - Rubén De la Red, Pablo HernándezSevilla - Andrés PalopReal Betis - JuanitoValencia - Carlos Marchena, Joaquín, David Villa, David Silva, David Albelda,Atlético de Madrid - Pablo Ibañez, Mariano Pernía, Antonio LópezVillarreal - Marcos Senna, Ángel, Joan CapdevillaEspanyol - Raúl Tamudo, Luis García, Albert Riera

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