Almunia admitted: "The more I see of Cesc, the less he surprises me. Everyone in England knows how good he is.
"We have some fantastic midfield players in Spain although I don't think there are any better than Cesc.
"But every coach has his opinion and sometimes it is easier to put players into the first team who are playing in their own country.
"Maybe that is why it is more difficult for Cesc to get picked for Spain."