Euro 2012 news

Soldado hoping to cement Spain place

February 28, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Valencia striker Roberto Soldado is relishing the prospect of lining up for Spain for the first time since 2007 and is determined to play his way into Vicente del Bosque's Euro 2012 squad.

Roberto Soldado Spain
PA PhotosIt has been almost five years since Roberto Soldado won his last Spain cap

• Del Bosque sad to drop Torres

Soldado, 26, has been in blistering form this season - scoring 20 goals - and with misfiring Chelsea striker Fernando Torres dropped by Del Bosque for Wednesday's friendly against Venezuela, the Los Che frontman has the opportunity to stake his claim for a place on the plane to Poland and Ukraine.

"I really wanted to get into the squad but I knew how hard it would be," Soldado said. "I'm finally here and I hope to make the most of the opportunity.

"The best way for a striker to receive a call-up is to score. That will determine whether you are here or not. I have a significant goalscoring record and I look forward to adding to that in this team."

But despite the absence of Torres providing Soldado with his first chance to play for La Roja in nearly five years, he insists he would like to play with the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool forward at the European Championship.

"Everyone must do their job," Soldado said. "We know how important Fernando Torres is to the team. I hope he will be at the Euros and I hope I will also be at the tournament. I'm going to give everything to get there.

"Competition for places is fierce and there are still three months which will define whether I can be at the Euros. If I get a chance I hope to take advantage of it. There are still three long months until the tournament."

Meanwhile, Del Bosque has revealed the decision to leave Torres out of his squad was not an easy one to make.

"He is a lad we appreciate a great deal and it pains me to leave him out, but I wanted to be fair," Del Bosque told the Independent. "His performances recently have been a bit irregular.

"It is always a problem when a striker is not finding the net, it makes it difficult for them, we see that there is an issue. But there is a lot of time and plenty of chances for him to find his touch before the Euros.

"Things are not going well, but situations can turn around quickly."

• The ESPNsoccernet App is available now on the Apple App Store, and is coming soon for Android and Windows Phone users.