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When is the Europa League draw?

Europa League
By ESPN Staff

Raul 'won't give up on Spain' despite Euros snub

Raul insists he has no intention of calling time on his international career anytime soon despite being omitted from the Spain squad for this summer's European Championships.

Raul has not played for his country since 2006, and despite calls from the media, supporters and fellow players for him to be re-instated, the Real Madrid captain was still missing when Spain coach Luis Aragones announced his 23-man squad for the tournament.

However, the 30-year-old Raul, who is Spain's record goalscorer and one of only two players to win 100 caps, is not contemplating hanging up his international boots just yet.

'Never have I given up on the national team and I am not thinking of doing it. To play with Spain is a feeling of pride and when they call me I will no doubt answer,' said Raul, who will now take on the role of supporter this summer.

'You always have the goal of being in the national team. I maintained the hope of being called up (for Euro 2008), but in the end it was not to be.

'I have worked hard to make things difficult for Luis, but now my only objective is to help Spain become European champions from outside.

'I will watch every game that I can because I like football and these types of tournaments are very interesting. I will be behind the national team and I would like them to go very far.

'Now I am obliged to play the role of supporter and the national team will have all my support from the first minute until the last,' he added in Marca.

'It is normal to be disappointed, just like the others who were left out. Now the important thing is that we are all with the team.'

Spain have been drawn against Sweden, Russia and reigning champions Greece in Group D, and should they get through to the quarter-finals they will meet a side from the 'Group of Death', which includes Italy, France, Holland and Romania.

Italy and France are among Raul's favourites for the whole competition, but he also believes Spain have a shot at glory as well.

'It (the tournament) will be decided by the smallest details. The race for the title is going to be very even and the fight will be among the usual teams - Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. Why not?.' he said.


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