Marcos Alonso: Family 'delighted' to have third generation play for Spain
Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso has said that his family is "delighted" that he has earned a Spain call-up after his grandfather and father both represented the national team.
Coach Julen Lopetegui included Alonso, 27, in the 24-man squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Germany and Argentina in preparation for this summer's World Cup.
Representing Spain has become a tradition in Alonso's family as his grandfather, Marquitos, represented Spain in the 1950s and his father, known as Marcos, did so in the 1980s.
"I've seen little of them as there are not many images dating back to when my grandfather played, so I'm not sure who is the better of all of us," Alonso said at a news conference in Madrid on Tuesday. "Perhaps I will leave that to the older generation.
"My father found out about my selection before me because I was training. I was going to go home and see the family and my father called me and said, ironically, 'So are you coming to see us or not?' Everyone in the family is delighted."
Marquitos, Marcos y Marcos Alonso. Abuelo, padre y nieto, una saga de futbolistas internacionales. Marcos Alonso integra la última lista de Julen Lopetegui pic.twitter.com/NIZi4MtKil— EFE Deportes (@EFEdeportes) March 16, 2018
Alonso played at Under-19 level for Spain but despite calls by the Spanish press to select him, Lopetegui continued to omit the former Real Madrid defender from the national team until he was included last week.
"Whether it's late or not, the important thing is that I'm here," Alonso said. "I'm grateful. I tried not to think too much about it.
"My focus was on doing well at Chelsea and this was a welcome surprise. This is a reward for the work I've done in recent years. I was training when I found out. I went in the locker room and all of my teammates congratulated me. I'm thrilled and looking forward to this experience."
Alonso's father said earlier this month that his son would continue to persevere in his pursuit of a Spain call-up.
"I'm very focused on the next two friendlies and on adapting to the team," the Chelsea defender said. "I'm eager to train and to add to this squad. More than an exam, I see this as an opportunity. I think the coach knows me well from my time at Castilla. It's a chance to prove myself and for me to adapt quickly to the side and hopefully, to return to the national team more times."
Alonso said it is more special with Spain taking on Germany and Argentina. La Roja play at Germany on Friday before hosting Argentina in Madrid four days later.
"They are friendlies but are two very important games to prepare for what comes next," Alonso said. "Two games against the World Cup holders and the runners-up. Two beautiful games to play and [they] would be very special to any player."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.