I earned my place in the national squad: Spain’s forward Aspas

Las Rozas (Spain),   Celta de Vigo striker Iago Aspas on Tuesday said he merited his place in the Spanish national football team’s 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia through persistent hard work.

Aspas, one of the top goal scorers in La Liga this season, acknowledged that his Galician team may not be as big as the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atletico Madrid — the three teams whose players make up the majority of the national squad but insisted that such details were irrelevant for head coach Julen Lopetegui, reports Efe.

“I have earned it and I have worked with my teammates very well over the last year. If only we (Celta) had been able to give that final push at the end of the season and reach Europe,” he told reporters after a pre-World Cup training session at the side’s training facilities in Las Rozas, just north of Madrid.

He said he had put in the same effort and was propelled by the same drive since day one of his international career.

Aspas said he was encouraged by the high level of play on show during the training session Tuesday but warned that it only takes one bad game at the World Cup to bring about a flight home.

Spain start their campaign against Portugal on June 15 in Sochi.