Young Barcelona defender Martin Montoya says he is happy with his first-team contribution this season, as he continues to learn from "the best right-back in the world" - his team-mate Dani Alves.
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The graduate of Barca's La Masia youth academy told reporters in a press conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Real Zaragoza at the Camp Nou that he had no problem biding his time before becoming a regular for his club.
"Dani is the best right-back in the world," Montoya said. "Even though he has not been at 100% this season, he is still the best. I hope to keep learning from him in order to take his place in the future."
Montoya, 21, who was called into Spain's full international squad for this week's 5-1 friendly win in Panama, said he watched Alves, 29, on the field to learn how to play right-back in Barcelona's tactical set-up.
"We are both players who like to attack and get forward, and we try to defend and not allow our opponents time to think," he said. "I need to learn from him, especially how to position myself and adapt to different tactical systems."
The Barcelona-born defender, who joined his hometown club aged just nine, made his senior debut two seasons ago under Pep Guardiola, but until this season played more regularly for Barca B.
Injuries to fellow defenders Alves, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal, Jordi Alba and Adriano Correia at different times this season mean he has got more minutes on the pitch than expected in his first season as a senior player, Montoya admitted.
"I expected to play some games in my first year with the first team, but not as many as I have," he said. "I have played seven and I have to be pleased with that."
A European Under-21 Championship winner with Spain in 2011, Montoya travelled with the senior squad to this week's friendly in Panama and said he was happy to have made the trip even if he did not get onto the pitch to make his debut.
"I knew what I was going for," he said. "It is an honour to be called up to the senior squad. It was a reward. I am very pleased to have gone. I would have liked to have had some playing time, but I am young and if I keep working I will have more chances."