Many of us have wondered why Roberto Soldado, the most in-form Spanish striker has been overlooked by Vicente del Bosque for the National Team.
Couldn’t possibly be his performance, because his numbers in the last seasons or so have been very good for a forward that doesn’t play for the big two: 29 goals in 60 matches for Getafe (seasons 08-09, 09-10) and so far 26 goals in 44 matches for Valencia.
He has scored 8 goals this season, including one against Barcelona and a brace against Real Madrid.
Probably, any player who has those numbers would be a fixture in his NT but not in Soldado’s case for Spain.
Talking in Twitter with a friend of mine I told him that I found unfair that Soldado was overlooked by Torres (hasn’t been in good form for the last couple of seasons, also has the second worst goalscoring % of forwards in la Roja’s story) or even Manu del Moral (granted he has only been called once but still he doesn’t have the same numbers).
Chris told me it was mainly a problem of behavior.
Vicente del Bosque is a rarity these days: a true gentleman in the world of football and he values group cohesion and good behavior of his players more than actual form (that’s why people like Torres and Navas have found their way into the team even if they aren”t at their best).
Soldado has always been a wild child, very temperamental and allows that temper to get the worst out of him, he’s the kind of player you wonder doesn’t get sent off more often because he’s usually trying to pick up fights with the rival players or even with his own fans.
You think I’m exaggerating?
I know the fan was the one who started but Soldado shouldn’t have gone at him like that, that’s not good behavior from a professional.
Aitor tried to apologize to him but Soldado answered in a bad way, it wasn’t as if the defender tried to pull a DeJong on him! it was a pretty standard defending foul, maybe the hit in the face was what enraged him more but he has to learn to live with these things, doesn’t have to go fuming all the time and think that no one can touch him.
Against Real Madrid, he was trying to pick up fights (along with Albelda, another headcase) with about 4 or 5 different merengue players.
I believe VDB has seen the same behavior from him and that’s why he doesn’t call him for the National Team, he wants someone who can keep their cool most of the time (Ramos, Arbeloa, Busquets, Iniesta lose it at times but you know they blow off steam pretty quickly and don’t actually pick fights in every match they are at), a “9″ has to live with being fouled and learn to let the referee call the shots, people like Torres or Llorente get fouled and grabbed out of their minds in every match but you never actually see them picking fights or fouling people back, much less shouting at doubting fans.
I think it has never been about form, it’s about how Soldado carries himself, his way of dealing with pressure and how he competes.
I know that this can be a controversial issue, but I’m merely stating what my friend and I discussed about this topic, if anyone has different theories about why isn’t Soldado called, you are welcome to share them :)