Everton's Rondon will not play for Venezuela this month due to fitness

Salomon Rondon turns down chance to play for Venezuela this month because he wants to improve his fitness at Everton so he can continue to cover for the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin

  • Salomon Rondon will not play in Venezuela’s World Cup qualifiers this month
  • The 32-year-old wants to improve his fitness so he can play better for Everton
  • Rondon was due to play in his country’s matches against Ecuador and Peru
  • But the forward will stay in Merseyside for the November international break

Salomon Rondon has opted against joining the Venezuela national side this week to concentrate on getting sharper for Everton.

The 32-year old was due to play for his country against Ecuador and Peru but is determined to use the time instead to step up his fitness so he is in prime condition to play for Rafa Benitez and his club.

Rondon joined Everton from Dalian in China on August deadline day and missed pre-season training. While he had maintained a good level of fitness, the absence of those arduous summer sessions have left him short of his desired levels on his return to the Premier League.

Salomon Rondon will not play for Venezuela this month as he wants to get fitter for Everton

The 32-year old Toffees striker was due to play for his country against Ecuador and Peru

Everton have struggled in recent weeks with a number of injuries notably to key forwards Dominic Calvert Lewin and Richarlison who have missed a crucial amount of games leaving them short on firepower. 

Benitez threw in Rondon earlier than he would have liked and, while he has toiled admirably, some of his performances have come under criticism as fatigue kicked in.

Confirming his decision, Rondon said: ‘It’s difficult to put such strong feelings into words. For me, my national team isn’t about a moment or an opportunity, it’s my place, my flag, my heart.

Rondon (right) is a key striker for his country with 31 goals in 82 caps for Venezuela since 2008

‘It hurts every time I’m not able to join up with the team and it’s very difficult for me to watch from afar. But I have to be honest with myself and the shirt I love and value so dearly: I don’t currently feel that I’m at the level I’d like to be at to allow me to perform to 100 per cent and defend my country’s colours as it deserves.

My last-minute move to England, not having had a pre-season and the run of games I played really affected me and have put me in this situation.

‘I want to get my fitness up to 100 per cent to allow me to perform to my best, which is what you’ve always seen from me, and soon be able to pull on the Vinotinto shirt that I love so dearly and that I have no doubt my teammates will go all out to defend in the two matches ahead of us. Although I’m watching from afar, my heart is there, with the squad.’

Rondon has featured in seven of Everton’s eight games this season amid an injury crisis

Rondon has featured in seven of Everton’s eight games this season, making the starting line-up on five occasions.

Arriving on transfer deadline day, he had also come off the back of an injury that prevented him from featuring at the Copa América.

The combative centre forward feels very much at home at Goodison. He and his family had initially been staying in a city centre hotel but are settling into a new house and he has vowed to utilise this time to good effect in his bid to win over the Everton supporters.

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article