Napoli winger Jose Callejon says it was a dream to make his debut for Spain in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus.
The 27-year-old former Espanyol and Real Madrid player [pictured, left] came on as a substitute for Santi Cazorla in the 69th minute of the 3-0 win in Huelva, and could not hide his delight at a first appearance for La Roja.
“I’m very happy because for me this is a dream come true after having worked so hard and suffered so much,” the Andalusia-born player told El Mundo.
“To get where I am right now is a real reward because I’ve sweated a lot to reach here. I hope it’s the first of many games with the national team and I want to continue playing at a good level with my club so the boss continues to call on me.
“When I arrived he congratulated me on what I have been doing with Napoli and on Saturday, before I went on, he told me to enjoy myself and play like I do for my club side.”
Callejon told what it was like to leave Real Madrid for Serie A following his €10m move in July 2013.
“It was hard to leave Madrid because it’s a club that taught me everything, both inside and outside football, and also about life, because I spent many years with the youth teams.
“It was important for me to return to the first team [after being bought back from Espanyol] but when that happened I found I wasn’t getting many minutes so I had to leave to get what I wanted.”
It was former boss Jose Mourinho who brought him back to the Santiago Bernabeu and Callejon went on to speak of his relationship with the Portuguese, whilst also comparing him to Napoli boss Rafa Benitez and Del Bosque.
“I can’t control what people say about him. Mourinho is a born motivator and a player has to be permanently alert. I have a very good relationship with him.
“He was my Coach and he trusted me, so I had to return that trust by showing him I could do well. Everyone gets on with whom he chooses.
“As I said, Mourinho is a motivator. Benitez is more meticulous. Del Bosque, in the short time I’ve known him, I think is a person who gets very close to players and is very quiet, very calm.
“He gets over what is expected from you and that is a really positive thing for the group,” he explained.