David Villa has praised his Spanish international teammates, who have acted like a family since his return to Vicente del Bosque’s side from a serious injury.
The Barcelona striker marked his return to the national set-up from breaking his tibia last December with a goal against Saudi Arabia on Friday evening.
“It was a special moment and nice to return after so long. My goal is speed up my return and to play a few more minutes each time and train consistently with the team,” he told Marca.
“I missed my international teammates, waiting all this time to return to the right level and get to train with the team again.
“Luckily I am back to feel these feelings again now. This team is part of my family.”
The 30-year-old stressed his gratitude towards his doctors, physios and teammates during a difficult eight months that saw him miss the European Championship victory.
“I have to grateful for the confidence the coaching staff have had in me, and I love getting called up to be with my teammates. Really, they are like my family. I was eager to get back, I had a hard time away but I am back now.
“I continue to improve my physical condition, I notice that every time I am regaining more speed and feeling more energised.”
The forward was asked if he was at all worried about aggravating or even re-injuring himself by returning too quickly.
“No I have never had such fears, not when I started the recovery and not now that I am back playing once more. I know the leg is in place, I have worked hard to get back to where I belong and I just want to enjoy it.
“I think I am far from being a starter, every day I feel better and I am playing a good amount of minutes that are important and useful for my physical toning so as to continue to grow and get closer to my goal.
“I am not in an hurry at the moment, I will be the first to know when I am fully ready once more but I am getting closer and closer,” concluded the former Valencia man.