Almunia keeping the England door open

Almunia is keeping the England door open as he qualifies for a British passport next summer, five years after joining Arsenal from Celta Vigo.

Almunia admits: “The opportunity is there and I’ll follow it for as long as the possibility of playing for England remains open.

“I don’t think playing for Spain is an option — they have enough keepers — it’s not their biggest problem.

“If I got a British passport then I would be able to play for England and, at the moment, I feel very English.

“I am very happy living in this country. The people are always very welcoming and I have made many friends.”

He added: “Things are also going very well for me at Arsenal — and that makes me even more happy.

“I was very proud to be named as captain. It was a real honour for me.”

He revealed: “I like to study history and already know some of the historical things about England, some of the kings and queens.”