Spain Coach Julen Lopetegui insists the door remains open for Iker Casillas should he do enough to earn a recall.
The new Roja boss’ decision to omit the Porto goalkeeper from his squad to face Belgium and Liechtenstein is undoubtedly the most high profile of his tenure so far, leading to speculation that Casillas’ international career could now be over.
However, 50-year-old Lopetegui has moved to reassure Spain’s most capped player in history that he could still have a future with the national team.
“His is not an easy situation,” admitted the Coach to Radio Marca. “I approach it with the respect and the sincerity to not close the doors to anybody, especially Iker.
“We decided not to call him up and we decided to tell him personally. Casillas is a starter for a top class team [Porto] and the door is open for him to return.”
Lopetegui was also asked about Aymeric Laporte, amid reports the Seleccion boss is trying to persuade the defender to switch international allegiances from France to Spain.
“While he isn’t available for selection, I prefer not to talk about him. I am focusing on the four centre-backs we have here.”
The former Porto Coach was then quizzed about his feelings towards his new role, his views on leadership and the style of play he wishes to deploy.
“It is a great responsibility for me and a great honour. We accepted it with a lot of happiness and excitement.
“In a great team you need to have more than one leader and I think that here there are a lot of people who could take on the leadership.
“It is undeniable that it is about having the ball, which is how we feel comfortable but we have to manage other aspects of the game.
“We need to be more complete.”