Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has revealed he considered calling up out-of-favour goalkeeper Victor Valdes in his latest selection.
Valdes has made just two appearances since joining Manchester United in January after recovering from a knee injury.
The former Barcelona player has had a strained relationship with United manager Louis van Gaal and has not been given a squad number for the 2015-16 campaign.
"We were very close to bringing Victor Valdes to the team and I really liked the idea," Del Bosque said in an interview with Atresmedia. "But in the end, we acted a little bit cowardly just because of what people might say, such as that I've lost my mind or those sort of things.
"It was a time when Valdes needed support and why couldn't we have given it ourselves?
"I know we are not an NGO, that we have to call up the best players, that we need to prepare for the future, one that he might not be a part of.
"But without a doubt it would have been a good idea to have called him up."
Valdes earned 20 caps for Spain and was a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship two years later.
"He is a unique man, special and very good for the national team," Del Bosque said. "At times there is a need for humanity."
The 33-year-old saw his transfer to Turkish side Besiktas fall through last week after failing to agree personal terms and is under contract with United until next summer.
Spain take on Slovakia in Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Oviedo before travelling to Skopje to face Macedonia three days later.