Xabier Etxeita admits he was ‘surprised’ to be called into the Spain squad but the Athletic Bilbao defender believes he has worked hard for the recognition.
Etxeita is part of the group to play Luxembourg and Ukraine in the last two Euro 2016 qualifiers and on Wednesday appeared before the Press.
“It’s a surprise. I didn’t expect it but the recognition is appreciated,” he said, AS reports.
“I was at home when I got the call. I was very excited. It has been a long time in coming. I’m 27. I had to work hard.
“I don’t know what I’ll feel like when I hear the national anthem. Let’s see if I play. Of course I want it. I have to do well during the week to have my chance.”
Etxeita was asked about Gerard Pique’s possible reception after the Barcelona defender was jeered during his last home appearance for La Roja and the inception of a pro-Pique Twitter campaign.
“He’s shown he’s committed and has been at a great level,” Etxeita said of his fellow centre-back.
“The results are there. He should be applauded at every ground.”