Jose Ignacio Wert has lauded the qualities of the veteran striker and has admitted his disappointment at the ex-Real Madrid man missing out on the Spain squad for Euro 2012Raul remains one of the best Spanish players in the game, according to the country's sports minister.
Jose Ignacio Wert said he wanted to see the legendary forward play for Spain at Euro 2012, but that he respected coach Vicente del Bosque's selection decisions.
The former Real Madrid man enjoyed a fine season with Schalke in the Bundesliga, scoring 15 goals in 32 league appearances, before agreeing a summer move to the Middle East to play for Qatari club Al Sadd.
"I miss [seeing] Raul at the Euros [but] respect the decision of Del Bosque, whose work is very complicated," he was quoted as saying by AS.
"But Raul is a professional like few others, he has had a great season.
"I was fortunate to visit him at the hotel in Bilbao and then watch him play in San Mames against Athletic [in the Europa League quarter-final], where he showed that he remains a crucial player and one of the best Spanish players," Wert asserted.
The minister also claimed Real Madrid and Barcelona may be willing to agree to a more equitable distribution of television rights money among Spain's top-flight clubs.
"I think Madrid and Barcelona are receptive and willing to be more flexible in the allocation of rights," he said.
Clubs in Spain negotiate their own TV rights deal, unlike other major European leagues.