Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes has spoken in support of reported Chelsea target Joaquin after his international team-mate was left out of the Spain squad for this weekend’s World Cup play-off.
“Others are in better form than he is,” was Spain coach Luis Aragones’ brief explanation for leaving the Real Betis winger out of the squad he named last Friday to play Slovakia.
Aragones replaced Joaquin with Betis team-mate Alberto Rivera for the two games that will decide whether Spain will play in next year’s World Cup finals.
Spain’s first two training sessions imply he will allow right back Michel Salgado liberty to attack along the right wing, packing the midfield and using Arsenal winger Reyes on the left.
Reyes, though, believes Joaquin is still a key player for his country.
“The coach is the person who decides and in the past I have not been selected,” said Reyes.
“I don’t decide who comes, but Joaquin has been an important player for Spain and he still is.”
Reyes has formed an understanding with Fernando Torres in recent games, setting up three goals for the striker with passes from the left, even though he prefers a more central role.
“The coach has put me in first choice and I hope to do well, thats why I am here. Things are going well at the moment, I am in form and I have to show that on the pitch,” he added.
“I feel more comfortable playing behind the two strikers, but if you ask anyone of us if they want to play, they will tell you they will play anywhere to get a game.
“I am certain we will win 2-0 and be in good shape for the trip to Slovakia.”