Aragones defends decision to omit Pernia

May 8, 2006

Spain coach Luis Aragones has defended his decision to pick Chelsea left-back Asier Del Horno ahead of Getafe's Mariano Pernia in his 27-man squad for Monday's pre-World Cup get-together.

Getafe boss Bernd Schuster was highly critical of Aragones for omitting Pernia and including Del Horno, whose first season with the Premiership champions has not been a huge personal success, instead.

Schuster had said that Del Horno's only contribution this season 'had been to kick Messi in the Champions League' while Pernia 'has had a great season and deserves to go to the World Cup'.

However, Aragones said: 'I understand that Pernia's absence may surprise many considering he is playing very well.

'(Argentina-born) Pernia only recently got his Spanish nationality and a coach must respect other players that have played before.

'We cannot forget that Del Horno scored against England.'