After starting his career at Real Madrid, the competition to get into their first team proved too fierce for Soldado and he moved on Getafe in 2008 before finding a home for his talents at Valencia a couple of years later.
He has been a consistent scorer in La Liga over the last six seasons and after a long wait, he is finally getting his chance to take centre-stage at a major international tournament, with David Villa’s injury concerns and Fernando Torres’s loss of form opening the door to a place in Vincente Del Bosque’s Euro 2012 squad.
His hat-trick in the friendly victory over Venezuela earlier this year suggested he is ready to come of age as an international striker after being overlooked for the triumphant Spanish Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 squads.
Recalled to the national team in earlier this year after failing to play in any Euro 2012 qualifiers, Soldado is something of a gatecrasher to the Spanish national team party, but he believes he can make a big impact. “We know that Villa and Torres have had some problems, but it is a big demand for me to fill their place this summer,” says Soldado. “I feel like I am playing well enough to contribute to Spain and now I just want my chance.”