Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still believes Manuel Almunia could represent England one day and declared: "He is the best."
Almunia joined the Gunners from Celta Vigo in July 2004, and so under residency laws would soon be eligible to apply to become a naturalised British citizen. Given the 31-year-old has yet to be called up into the Spain national team, there remains a genuine possibility Almunia would, under FIFA regulations, be available for selection to England coach Fabio Capello for the 2010 World Cup.
"There are international rules which have to be respected, but if it is possible legally, why not?" said Wenger. "Then it is more a choice left to the English Football Association or to Manuel Almunia's desire. I believe he is not only good enough, but he is the best."
The Gunners boss added: "It is down to what you expect morally and mentally from a national team.
"I believe at some stage you have to observe just the rules and decide what you want.
"On the English side, for the national team, it is not so much a problem because if the guy decides to become English, he has had to observe and respect the rules like anybody else.
"Why should he then not be qualified to play for the national team?
"It is more a moral problem maybe for Manuel Almunia, because does he consider he has a chance to play in the Spanish national team or not?"
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