Carlos Cuellar was the toast of Scottish football two weeks ago when the Rangers midfielder was named the SPL Player of the Year but no one still seems to know his name in his native Spain.
“No one called from the federation to congratulate me,” complained the 26-year-old from Madrid in an interview with the internet site of the Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday.
Despite his stunning season in the Scottish Premier League, with Rangers in second place and also still in contention for the Scottish Cup and UEFA Cup, Cuellar feels ignored by Spanish national coach Luis Aragones.
However, with Scottish domestic games regularly shown live on Spanish television, Cuellar feels that Aragones can't claim to not know about what he's done this season.
“I don't think the door to the national team is entirely closed but it's much harder to get through it from here,” added Cuellar, with a turn of phrase similar to the way he's spun around many opponents on the pitch at Ibrox.
Cuellar has yet to be capped by Spain and is not expected to feature in Aragones' squad for the forthcoming Euro 2008 finals but he still has much to look forward to in the coming month or so.
“The truth is that we can lift four titles this year, added Cuellar.
“We already have alreday won the Scottish League Cup, we are very well placed in the league, and in the UEFA Cup and just one step away from the final.
“It's going to be complicated to win everything but we are all aiming to have conquered the lot by the end of the season.”
Rangers, without Cuellar who was suspended, went down 3-2 at Celtic in the Old Firm derby on Sunday to hand their bitter rivals a five point advantage at the top of the SPL although they still have three games in hand.
Cuellar moved to Rangers from Spanish first division side Osasuna, where he had spent the previous four seasons, last summer for a fee of four million euros but he now looks like a bargain buy.
“The coach (Walter Smith) gave me a lot of confidence from the first day I arrived and I responded by wanting to do the best that I could. I arrived here with a lot of enthusiasm and although life is very different to Spain, I think I've adapted well.
“The Spanish league is obviously much stronger than Scotland. In Spain, there are many more good teams. Here, it always seems to be between Celtic and Rangers although the three teams who are fighting for the UEFA Cup place are quite good as well and can make life difficult.
“But I'm very proud to have won the SPL Player of the Year award. It's diffcult to win it and it's a reflection of the good year that I and my team mates have had,” added Cuellar, whose Rangers contract lasts until 2011.
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