Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera says he will not “throw in the towel” on his dream of returning to the Spain squad.
While many of his club colleagues have departed over the last week on international duty, Herrera has stayed behind in Paris to prepare for his club’s next game at AS Monaco on November 20. The 31-year-old has won two caps for Spain, coming off the bench in a 2-2 friendly draw with England at Wembley in November 2016 and then again appearing as a substitute in a 2-0 friendly win against France at the Stade de France in March 2017. On both occasions Julen Lopetegui was the man in charge of La Roja, but there is no sign of current coach Luis Enrique including Herrera in his squad.
“When I was playing regularly I was called up by Lopetegui. (Previous coach) Robert Moreno has planned to call me up. With Luis Enrique all I can say is that I am going to work towards it because representing your country is the greatest thing you can do,” Herrera said in an interview with Radio Marca.
“I am not going to throw in the towel. I think I am close and deserve to be considered. But I repeat my respect for the coach, and if I have to look in from the outside I will do so like every other Spaniard,” added the Bilbao native who played for Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao before moving to Manchester United in 2014.
“What keeps me awake is focusing on the day to day with my club, and I think the national team is a reward that comes if you deserve it,” added Herrera, who has featured regularly in Thomas Tuchel’s PSG side this season.
Without Herrera, Mikel Merino of Real Sociedad and Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets started in midfield for Spain in their 1-1 Nations League draw in Switzerland on Saturday.