Spain international striker David Villa spoke of his delight at receiving a shock call up from Spain coach for the upcoming football World Cup qualifying matches against Italy and Liechtenstein.
The Italy game on Saturday will decide whether the Spanish directly book their ticket for the 2018 World Cup finals or will need to go through the play-offs. With Diego Costa unavailable Lopetegui handed a recall to the 35-year-old, who had not represented his country since 2014 and who now plays with New York City FC in the Major League Soccer, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I’m delighted to be back. I am one of the group and aim to give everything I’ve got for a win against Italy,” Villa said on Tuesday.
He admitted that in the three years since his last game things had changed with Lopetegui replacing Vicente del Bosque and young players arriving.
Villa said that the changes made it difficult to guarantee overnight success:
“You have to let things work, look at the quality in the squad, and have patience. I hope that we’ll have another great era,” he said.
Marco Asensio is the latest hope for the Spanish with the Real Madrid striker in fine form at the start of the campaign.
The youngster scored twice at the weekend and Villa believes he is “doing enough to start for Spain” on Saturday.
“You just have to look at him to enjoy the way he plays and we’re going to enjoy him for years to come. He’s doing more than enough to start,” said the veteran, who was not sure whether he would be in the starting 11 on Saturday night.
“Wouldn’t be disappointed if I don’t start. I’m having a great time being here again, it’s been three years since I last came here and I have to earn my place,” explained Villa.