Swansea's Michu receives Spain call-up
Swansea forward Michu has been called up to the Spain squad for the World Cup qualifying games against Belarus and Georgia.
Michu, 27, will replace Atletico Madrid striker David Villa who was forced to withdraw from coach Vicente del Bosque's party after injuring his ankle on Sunday afternoon.
A statement from the Spanish federation regarding Villa's absence read: “The Asturian player is suffering from arthritis in his left ankle, according to the RFEF’s medical services."
After moving to Swansea from Rayo Vallecano in the summer of 2012, Michu scored 22 goals in his first Premier League season and helped Michael Laudrup’s side win the Capital One Cup.
Michu has now been called into Del Bosque’s squad ahead of Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado and Juventus’s Fernando Llorente.
The European and world champions take on Belarus in Palma on Friday night before hosting Georgia in Albacete four days later.
Speaking of his squad place to Cadena Ser radio show El Larguero on Sunday, Michu said: “I was on the bus and was getting a lot of messages so I knew something was happening. My brother called and told me I had been called up, and I said 'are you serious?' as nobody had called me. Then I received an email from the press officer with all the details.
“I never lost my dream of a call-up. Every Spanish footballer works and dreams about that. Of course it is difficult, as only very few people can make it into the best team in the world. I knew it would be difficult, but I am defending the colours of Swansea at the moment and working hard. Now I have the opportunity I am happy.
“It is true there are a lot of people missing, some really good players, but there are more inside the squad. Not everybody can play [next week]. If I have the luck and the chance to play then I will take it. I am eternally grateful for the call-up.
“I have never spoken with Del Bosque. I saw that he had come to some games but I did not talk to him."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.