“That shirt makes me reject”

What is happening with Spain? Since Brahim Díaz's decision to play for Morocco became known, there has not been a day in which a new name of a footballer who has caused “La Roja” to come to light does not come to light. If a few days ago, it was confirmed that Junior Firpo – formerly of Betis and Barcelona, ​​now in the ranks of Leeds – was opting to play for the Dominican Republic, yesterday another player followed his path. The Catalan of Real Madrid Castilla Edgar Pujol, who had been a Spanish international until the U-19, resigns from the 'Roja' to go to the Olympic Games representing the Dominican Republic, according to the newspaper 'Marca'. But these cases are not unique, we have already seen it too with Alejadro Garnacho or Iñaki Williams.

In Spain there are more than a million federated footballers and everything suggests that the dream of all of them is to wear the shirt of the Spanish team. However it is not always so. The sporting opportunity or political issues have led many players to veto the “flagship” of Spanish sentiment.

Mores of 40 footballers not born in Spain, such as Di Stéfano, Kubala or Puskas chose to defend the colors of La Roja. In fact, Spain is one of those countries in which the most foreign players have played. However, there is also a non-negligible list of players who, even though they were born in our country, have chosen to defend another shield and on some occasions out of pure hatred.

The contempt for the Spanish National Team by the independence movement is not something new. Intolerance and hatred towards what they consider the “flagship” of Spanish sentiment is part of the history of football. Over the last few years we have seen how in Catalonia and the Basque Country the installation of screens to watch a World Cup was prohibited or the national team was belittled in the media. But this “hatred” towards everything that smacks of Spain does not remain only in institutions and politics and on some occasions has made the leap to the grass.

These are some of the footballers who refused to play with the Spanish National Team for reasons that go beyond football:

Kortabarría, the pioneer

He played central defense and was captain of Real Sociedad in the 1970s and early 1980s.

On December 5, 1976, in the middle of the Transition, two players from Athletic Club and Real society They took to the field carrying the flag of Euskadi, the ikurriña, a symbolic gesture with an importance that went beyond the walls of football. One of them was Inaxio Kortabarria, the first footballer to say 'No' to wearing the Spanish national team shirt. The other was the legendary goalkeeper José Ángel Iribar.

Inaxio played four games for Spain but In 1977 he decided to resign from the national team for ideological reasons.thus becoming the first footballer to upset the national team for this reason.

Mikel Aramburu and his “no” to the U-20 World Cup

The Real Sociedad midfielder stood out from a very young age in the youth team but was never international. Iñaki Saez summoned him twice to go with the U-20 team that would win the World Cup in Nigeria in 1999, but he did not go claiming to be sick or injured.

Later in the book “La Patria del Gol” by Daniel Gómez Aramburu acknowledged: “If the Spanish National Team called me I would not go. A Basque player wants to play with his team, which is what he feels and identifies with. You shouldn't mix sport and politics but you can't force me to play for Spain, a team that I can't feel.”

Nacho, the Galician who gave up a Euro Cup

Nacho came from the Real Club Celta youth team, a club with which he was promoted to Primera in 86-87, remaining in the Olympic team for six seasons. Out of the Txetxu Rojo lineups and his contract ended, he was signed by the Compostela Sports Society in 92-93, where he would play the next nine seasons, experiencing the golden stage of the Santiago team with promotion to First Division included.

His name began to be heard loudly around the Spanish Football Federation. The coach at that time, Javier Clemente, referred to him in a press conference on November 15, 1995, pointing to the Compos side as a future candidate for the England Euro Cup roster the following summer. What's more, Clemente stated that he would call him up for the next friendly match. He was going to become the first Compostela player to play for Spain.

When Nacho was informed of Clemente's words, the winger's response surprised everyone: “I'm neither interested nor in the mood. I think there are people in this Spanish State who can do it very well and who identify with the Spanish team, which seems phenomenal to me. Of course, that is not my ambition. “I prefer to be like this, I feel more comfortable.”

Oleguer Presas, the most media case

Gramenet, Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam were the clubs Oleguer Presas played for. The Catalan came close to glory in the world of football by winning the Champions League with FC Barcelona, ​​but if the former player is recognized for something, it is for his political convictions and for his resounding “NO” to playing with the team. national.

The center back received the call from Luis Aragonés to be part of the Spanish soccer team. However, true to his political convictions, he decided to reject the possibility although he did attend a day of coexistence in Madrid. “What it represents generates rejection and aversion in me,” he came to say. The elastic that he did wear was that of the Catalonia national team and he celebrated the Champions League in 2006 with the estelada.

After leaving footballOleguer Presas joined the CUP list in the elections to the Generalitat in 2012. Graduated in Economic Sciences from the University of Barcelona, ​​he was also part of the lists to which 2015 elections, although for the Crida per Sabadell party. His case was used by ERC to promote the rule that seeks to eliminate the obligation to go with the Spanish team in all sports disciplines.